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Russia sets task of winning 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup — sports minister

February 03, 15:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian capital hosted on Wednesday the ceremony to launch the "500-Day Countdown" to 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
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© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The Russian national football team should set the highest possible task to achieve at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, including to win the tournament, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

The Russian capital hosted on Wednesday the ceremony to launch the "500-Day Countdown" to 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. An official emblem of the global football tournament was also unveiled during the ceremony, held in GUM, a Russian landmark shopping center located on the Red Square.

"We have a very interesting national team, which, I believe, has not yet unlocked its full potential," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said during the ceremony.

"We definitely have the most serious opponents facing us in future matches," he said. "But we must set the task of winning the tournament and pursue this aim."

Besides Mutko, the ceremony was also attended by Russian and foreign football and show business stars as well as by sports executives and dignitaries, including UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino and Christian Karembeu, who is a former player of the French national football team boasting the titles of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 UEFA Euro Cup champions.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, Zenit-Arena in St. Petersburg, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.

Last October, Mutko was appointed the head of a FIFA committee in charge of the organization of the Confederations Cups in 2017 and 2021. The event is a global football tournament held a year before the much-anticipated quadrennial FIFA World Cup. Both the Confederations Cup and World Cup are held in the same country elected earlier at a FIFA Congress.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010 in a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

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