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MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), told TASS on Thursday he knew nothing about media reports that FIFA allegedly asked young Colombian singer Maluma to write and perform an official anthem for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Spanish sports daily As reported on Wednesday that the world’s governing football body, FIFA, had allegedly contacted Maluma and offered him to write and perform a song, which will be an anthem for the next FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia next year.
"I have heard nothing about this and in fact I learn it from you for the first time," Mutko, said in an interview with TASS after asked to comment on media reports.
Juan Luis Londono Arias was born on January 28, 1994, and is better known to the global audience today under his stage name of Maluma. He is among the top popular singers in Latin America and his hits, with some of which he recorded together with Shakira, Ricky Martin and other stars, enjoyed over 1.2 billion views on YouTube.
The tradition of writing and performing official anthems for FIFA World Cups dates back to 1962. The official anthem of the most recent championship, hosted by Brazil in 2014, is "Dar um Jeito (We Will Find a Way)" and was performed by Carlos Santana featuring Wyclef, Avicii, Alexandre Pires.
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The country was granted the right for the global quadrennial football championship after winning the bid in Guatemala in December 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.