MOSCOW, June 13. /TASS/. International football federation FIFA has welcomed the program for sports fans’ free travel to the sites of 2017 Confederations Cup matches, the general director of the Russia-2018 World Football Cup organizing committee Aleksei Sorokin told a TASS news conference on Tuesday.
"FIFA’s response (to the Russian initiative to grant fans free trips to the 2017 Confederations Cup matches - TASS) has been positive all along. This is an old-time initiative of ours. We provided the guarantees at the bidding phase. They turned out very helpful. We are very grateful to the government and the Transport Ministry for accomplishing what originally looked incredibly hard to implement. The idea is now taking specific shape," Sorokin said.
"Far from all members of the football community believed it would be possible," Sorokin went on to say." The technical guarantees were extremely complicated. Today everybody is extremely positive about this initiative, which gives fans a chance to plan trips, to save money and to travel from city to city with comfort. Intra-city transport will be in great demand, too."
"We must say special thanks to each of the host cities. The system is very simple. It implies no extra electronic gadgets. It is very convenient for all ticket holders. The World Cup will attract still more foreign fans who will be moving from city to city and inside the cities. All comments have been positive," Sorokin said.
Security measures during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be provided at the highest possible level, he added.
"Excessive measures on the organization of security have been implied by all relevant departments and structures," Sorokin said. "We (the organizers) are confident that the security will be provided at the highest possible level."
Cafes and restaurants in the Russian city of Sochi have expanded their local cuisine menus ahead of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the city administration’s press service told TASS on Tuesday.
"A special English-language menu has been drawn up and introduced in Sochi’s cafes and restaurants, which comprises regional cuisine made of local ingredients. Some cafes and restaurants have even translated their menus into French and Chinese," the press service said.
Besides, cafes and restaurants have recruited additional personnel focusing on those speaking foreign languages. "We are getting ready to receive more customers than usual during the matches, up to 500 people a day," said Avanes Khamalyan, chef at the Barkhatnye Sezony cafe located in the Olympic Park. "Having that in mind, we placed additional tables next to our cafe," he added.
While drawing up the new menu, foreigners’ habits were taken into consideration. The menu includes borsch, okroshka cold soup, pancakes with various fillings, as well as mushroom cream soup and pizza.
The Kubansky Khutorok cafe near the Fisht Stadium will offer its guests to try several kinds of homemade vareniki dumplings filled with baked potato and fried onions, cheese, cream cheese, and cherries. The cafe also has fresh vegetable salads on its menu. "We plan to bring fresh ingredients two times a day, so our guests will enjoy the freshest food," manager Natalya Mitasova said.
Supply depots have gone online to maintain contacts with their customers. The Sochi administration assures that there will be no issues concerning food supplies as suppliers gained enough experience while working with restaurants during the Olympics.
As TASS reported earlier, Sochi’s hotels are able to accommodate up to 200,000 guests.
Russia will host the Confederations Cup on June 17 through July 2. The matches will be played in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan. Russia, New Zealand, Mexico, Portugal, Chile, Australia, Cameroon and Germany will participate.