World-known Hollywood celebrity Pamela Anderson, who had been in recent years prompted to an avid protectionist of animals worldwide, said she believed a polar bear would be a suitable mascot for the much-anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
"As long as a life animal is not going to be abused as a mascot, I think a polar bear is one of the iconic animals in Russia," Anderson, who is currently on a visit to Russia, said in an interview with Welcome2018.com web portal.
The Canadian-born model, Hollywood actress and member of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), is paying her second visit to Russia this week in less than half a year.
"Leopards and tigers, but polar bear I think would be good," Anderson, who featured on Playboy magazine’s cover for record 14 times since 1989 and left all other celebrities of the glossy men’s publication far behind, said.
Students from 57 higher schools of arts across Russia began three months ago their work on the country’s 2018 FIFA World Cup mascot design as the country launched the second stage of its campaign to select a mascot for the global football championship.
Mascot’s selection process has been divided into three stages. The first stage was held on talisman.fifa.com website between April and July. Anyone was able leave on the website ideas on a new mascot, which could be an animate or inanimate one, mascot’s name and legend. One could have also voted for any of the proposed variants and the target audience of the first stage was made up of football fans between the age of 8 and 16.
The voting after the first stage selected 10 variants of mascots and they are - an Amur Tiger, Bogatyr (a legendary medieval Russian figure), a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, a cosmonaut, a cat, a bear and a robot.
The second stage of the 2018 World Cup mascot campaign will be followed by the final one next year on one of the national television channels, where Russians will be voting for the proposed variants of the 2018 World Cup mascots.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup information and tourist news portal welcome2018.com was prepared with the support of Russian news agency TASS and was opened for public in mid-July.
The 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 less than five 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 aforementioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.