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500-day countdown to 2018 FIFA World Cup starts in Russian cities

January 30, 17:48 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

The countdown clocks were unveiled on Monday in Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad

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Volunteers at the launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock marking 500 days before the start of the World Cup in Kaliningrad
Volunteers at the launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock marking 500 days before the start of the World Cup in Kaliningrad
Volunteers at the launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock marking 500 days before the start of the World Cup in Kaliningrad
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS
Five-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Natalya Ishchenko and Kaliningrad Region's Acting Governor Anton Alikhanov
Five-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Natalya Ishchenko and Kaliningrad Region's Acting Governor Anton Alikhanov
Five-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Natalya Ishchenko and Kaliningrad Region's Acting Governor Anton Alikhanov
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS
The launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Yekaterinburg
The launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Yekaterinburg
The launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Yekaterinburg
© Donat Sorokin/TASS
© Donat Sorokin/TASS
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Volunteers at the launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock marking 500 days before the start of the World Cup in Kaliningrad
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS
Five-time Olympic synchronized swimming champion Natalya Ishchenko and Kaliningrad Region's Acting Governor Anton Alikhanov
© Vitaly Nevar/TASS
The launch of a 2018 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Yekaterinburg
© Donat Sorokin/TASS
© Donat Sorokin/TASS

YEKATERINBURG/KALININGRAD, January 30. /TASS/. The 500-day countdown to the beginning of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has started in two Russian cities which will host the tournament’s matches, Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, and Kaliningrad, in Russia’s westernmost exclave in the Baltic, as countdown clocks were unveiled on Monday.

The clocks are installed in stands made of vandal-proof materials in the 2018 World Cup colors, which also serve as Wi-Fi hotspots. The clocks also have built-in web cameras, so anyone can take a selfie.

The clock that was launched in Kaliningrad most likely will be donated to the city. The region’s deputy governor, Alexander Rolbinov, said it has not yet been decided where the clock would be installed after the tournament, either in a museum or at the stadium which will be the venue for World Cup matches.

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments after the country clinched the bid, following the final vote at the FIFA Executive Committee in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bids from England, Portugal and Spain, in addition to a 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 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital of Moscow.

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