KALININGRAD, March 21. /TASS/. Foreign state officials will only punish themselves by deciding against coming to Russia and boycotting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Wednesday.
Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that members of the UK government and the royal family would not attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Foreign Minister of Iceland Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson later stated that his country’s government members had been also in discussions on the possible boycott of the football championship in Russia.
"I believe that our colleagues and partners are only punishing themselves and all of this is senseless," Dvorkovich, who is also the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018, said. "Everything will be beautiful here and we are doing our utmost to provide it."
"This will be the best world (football) championship ever," he said. "Our country is very hospitable and we are waiting for everyone here."
"If some officials refuse coming here, it is their personal business," Dvorkovich stated. "The history shows that boycotts never led to something good. All national teams want to play and football fans want to be here. We will imply maximum efforts to see that everyone is extremely satisfied with the world championship."
After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup matches last summer in four Russian cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi, the country is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
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 aforementioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.