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GENEVA, July 16. /TASS/. The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will set new standards in the sport of football as the largest country in the world prepares for the next week’s Preliminary Draw of the global football tournament, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said.
"A new era begins on 25 July 2015, 376 days after the unforgettable World Cup Final in Rio de Janeiro," the FIFA President was quoted as saying in the preview of the organizations weekly magazine on Thursday.
Russia is currently in full swing preparations for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself to be held on July 25.
"Holding the world’s largest sporting event in the world’s largest country will set a new benchmark," the 79-year-old FIFA president added.
It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.
The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.
Russia on Thursday launched information and tourist Web portal (Welcome2018.com) designed to help spectators to be up to date to all developing events of the global football tournament and show them all tourist attractions of Russia.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup information and tourist news portal welcome2018.com was prepared with the support of Russian news agency TASS and launched on Thursday at a news conference at the agency.
The launched information and tourist portal for the 2018 World Cup in Russia contains over 15,000 exclusive pictures of Russian cities as well as over 4,000 new verified interesting facts about the cities, selected to be the venues for the football championship’s matches in less than three years.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.