DOHA, November 25. /TASS/. About a hundred volunteers from Russia are rendering their services at matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, volunteer Dzhastina Golopolosova told TASS on Friday.
"We have internal chats here and I believe that some 100 people from Russia are serving as volunteers here," she said. "That’s quite a lot when you consider that some countries are represented here by two or three volunteers."
In response to a question about local football fans’ reaction to Russian national flags, which volunteers brought along with them to Qatar, she said: "On the whole, everyone is reacting normally to it."
"It was okay every time we took pictures, including at very crowded stadiums," Golopolosova said. "Many volunteers arrived here bringing Russian national flags and so far we have seen only positive reactions."
The press service of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) announced on February 28 that the Russian national team and all professional clubs representing the country were barred from taking part in FIFA tournaments, including the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced a similar decision against Russian football. Both FIFA and UEFA attributed their verdicts to Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
2022 FIFA World Cup
Qatar is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup between November 20 and December 18 at eight stadiums in five cities across the country, namely in Doha, Lusail, Al Wakrah, Al Khor and Al Rayyan.
The eight host stadiums are: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Iconic Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium, and Al Janoub Stadium.
The coveted World Cup Trophy will be hoisted by one of 32 teams divided into eight groups. The group stage matches run across numerous fields in Qatar between November 20 and December 2 with the top two teams from each group advancing to the playoffs.
Qatar won the right to host matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on December 2, 2010. The championship kicked off last Sunday with a picturesque ceremony and the subsequent opening match between host Qatar and Ecuador, which ended 2-0 in favor of Ecuador.
In March 2015, FIFA officially announced that the 22nd edition of FIFA’s flagship event would be played in November and December of 2022, with the final match set for December 18, 2022, coinciding with - Qatar National Day. The objective, in principle, was to hold the tournament over 28 days.
The previous FIFA World Cup was hosted by Russia in 2018. The championship took place at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across Russia, namely in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
On July 15, 2018, during an official ceremony in the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin passed the baton for the FIFA World Cup’s host country to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.