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MOSCOW, January 17. /TASS/. A program of recruiting volunteers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has set a new record in the volunteer movement of the world’s governing body of football with some 177,000 applications submitted by the deadline, FIFA’s press service announced on Tuesday.
"This exceeds the previous record by almost 25,000 applications, set four years ago when 152,101 applications were received for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil," the statement from FIFA said.
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 the period from 1 June 2016, when President of Russia Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino jointly launched the volunteer campaign, to the end of the application period on 30 December, around 177,000 people expressed an interest in becoming volunteers for the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC)," the statement said.
The statement also said that over a quarter of all submitted applications were submitted from outside of Russia, a fact that showed great interest of foreign volunteers to become a part of the 2017 and 2018 FIFA Cups.
"There was significant interest in the Russia 2018 Volunteer Program from abroad; more than a quarter of all candidates (27%) sent in their applications from 190 different countries outside Russia," according to FIFA.
Commenting on the new record of volunteers’ applications, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and LOC Chairman Vitaly Mutko said: "Immediately after the campaign got underway, we saw how much interest there was in the Volunteer Program for the Confederations Cup and World Cup."
"Now our aim is to select and train the volunteers and give them everything they need to help create an unparalleled and unique festive atmosphere at the tournaments, which are coming up fast," Mutko was quoted as saying by the statement.
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.