NIZHNY NOVGOROD, July 4. /TASS/. The Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, selected among 11 cities across the country to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, would be a very appealing venue for British football fans coming to Russia for the global football tournament, a high-ranking British diplomat said on Tuesday.
"I think the preparations are good," Tom Regan, a council with the British Embassy in Russia, said. "It is a very friendly city and it is very beautiful."
"It is quiet compact and, I think, it will be very appealing for British fans," he said. "I went to the airport yesterday and it is one of few airports where I think you feel very relaxed."
The British diplomat, who was a part of a visiting delegation to assess the preparedness of Nizhny Novgorod for hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, also praised the plans of local authorities to introduce connection shuttles between the airport and the downtown of the city, as well as introduction of assistance materials for foreign visitors.
"I heard about the plans for buses between the airport and hotels and also plans about materials in English and in Russian," he said. "I think it is very important."
"I think that British football fans will realize very quickly how close Moscow is to Nizhny Novgorod," Regan said. "I think it will be very popular city for British football fans."
The city of Nizhny Novgorod will host a total of six matches of the 2018 World Cup, namely four fixtures of the group stage, one of the Last 16 matches and one of the quarterfinal games.
The stadium in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, which is one of a hundred of world cities included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, will be located in the Strelka district and will bear the name of the Volga Arena.
Regan also said that the Russian and British authorities were in close cooperation concerning security issues at the upcoming FIFA World Championship and that a group of Britain’s police team was attending matches of the recently hosted by Russia 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
"What we are doing at the Embassy at the moment is working with UK and Russian police," he said. "We have the same objective of the safety and security to work out."
"I brought a UK police team out to Russia to the Confederations Cup and we were talking about practical ways that we can support that objective," Regan stated. "I think it is up to the local authorities on how they deal with safety."
This year’s FIFA Confederations Cup was held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.
"But on the UK side, tickets are controlled through football associations," according to the British diplomat. "We have also produced travel advice for fans so that British fans, who come to Russia…, they take a few preparations…"
Russia 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.