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ST. PETERSBURG, July 23. /TASS, Yevgeny Ionov/. An issue of sustainability in planning and the organization of the 2018 World Cup in Russia will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the fight against racism in football, a UN Human Rights official said on Thursday.
FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) announced on Thursday an encompassing range of activities for the planning and holding of the world’s much-anticipated football event, to be hosted by Russia in less than three years.
The announced measures are aimed to rule out any potential negative effect from the organization of the world’s mega sport event and, on the contrary, to turn it for the benefit of the environment, people and economy, i.e. to make it sustainable.
"This process has been an inclusive one, closely involving stakeholders in the strategy’s development," Chief of the Anti-Discrimination Section at the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Yuri Boychenko, told a news conference in St. Petersburg.
"On racism and discrimination, the World Cup represents a great opportunity to raise awareness and implement initiatives that can have a real impact," Boychenko said commenting on the FIFA and LOC’s joint sustainability strategy with an estimated value of over $20 million.
The sustainability strategy for the football championship in Russia was announced on Thursday, two days ahead of the 2018 World Cup Preliminary Draw in the country’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
A total of 208 nations have signed up for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition 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.
The World Cup’s Preliminary Draw, which was first broadcast on television in 1971, underwent a remarkable evolutionary process throughout the years and is seen as the most to important cultural showpiece and the kick-start event for the championship itself.
In different decades and years this cultural showpiece was staged on numerous prominent global venues, including Louvre Museum in Paris, Madison Square Garden in New York and many others, and, according to FIFA official website, Russia’s St. Petersburg will continue "the tradition of memorable draws."