MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. Up to a million of tourists are expected in Russia for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be held at stadiums in 11 cities across the country, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday.
"We are preparing to receive up to a million of tourists during the 2018 (FIFA) World Cup," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) said.
Mutko said that the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, held in Russia between June 17 and July 2, increased Russia’s tourist inflow by some 17%
"We saw an inflow of about 30,000 tourists and most of them arrived from Chile and Mexico," Mutko said.
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.
A final session of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup board, which convened to draw conclusions after the tournament, was held in the Russian capital of Moscow on Tuesday.
"Participants in the session stressed particularly that the Confederations Cup is just a prologue ahead of the World Cup," Mutko said. "We must all draw conclusions and begin preparing for the World Cup starting today."
Initially, the participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup were 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 champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.
The trophy of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup went to reigning World Champions Germany after they defeated 1-0 the ambitious team from Chile in the overtime of the tournament’s final match on July 2 in Saint Petersburg.
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.