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MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. A new record in number of volunteers’ bids for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was registered in the history of the global football tournaments’ history, Alexei Sorokin, the director general of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), told TASS on Friday.
"We are more than satisfied with the results of the (volunteer recruitment) program," Sorokin said in an interview with TASS. "We have received an overall of some 170,000 applications. This is the most impressive campaign by its scale in FIFA’s history."
The 2018 World Cup as well as the 2017 Confederations Cup Volunteer Recruitment campaign was launched at a solemn ceremony in Moscow on June 1 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
In October of 2015, the Russian Sports Ministry certified 15 higher education establishments in 11 cities across Russia, officially authorizing them to recruit and prepare volunteers for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, which are the two major FIFA events to be hosted by Russia in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
A total of 5,000 volunteers were to be selected to serve at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, while 15,000 volunteers were planned to be recruited for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The deadline for submitting the applications was December 30, 2016.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held next year between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.
Seven nations have already qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup and they are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup winners Portugal and OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup winners New Zealand. The remaining eighth nation will be determined following the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Draw for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on November 26 in the Russian city of Kazan. Following the draw hosts Russia was placed in Group A alongside with Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B has brought together Germany, Chile, Australia and the winner of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The opening game will be held in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand. Russia will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21 and on June 24 it will play Mexico in Kazan.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments after the country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following 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.
The country 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.