Taking stock after an intense week of bidding activities at high-profile events in South Africa, the Russian Bid Committee for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ has drawn a number of positive conclusions.

“I am happy to say that we have had a great deal of encouraging and positive feedback”, Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy, Vitaly Mutko stated.

Mutko, who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, led the delegation including bid CEO Alexey Sorokin, former national team captain and bid ambassador Alexey Smertin and bid Director of Planning and Operations, Alexander Djordjadze.

At the FIFA Bidder Expo in Cape Town on 4 December the delegation gave in-depth explanations to more than 200 media and dignitaries why Russia should be awarded the right to host either the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. Also attending the event were several of Minister Mutko’s fellow colleagues of the FIFA Executive Committee, such FIFA Vice-Presidents Dr Chung Mong-Joon (Korea Republic) and Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain) as well Executive Committee members Dr Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium) and Junji Ogura (Japan) and Dr Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the Local Organising Committee South Africa 2010.

The bidder expo was held at the Leeuwenhof Estate, the official residence of the Premier of the Western Cape Province in Cape Town. Premier Helen Zille was welcomed at Russia’s booth by Minister Mutko, who provided her with a comprehensive account of the Russian bid.

Earlier in the week, from 30 November to 2 December, the bid delegation had been present at Soccerex in Johannesburg, welcoming a large number of visitors to its “Red Square Lounge” and having courtesy meetings with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, as well as FIFA Executive Committee members, Dr Amos Adamu (Nigeria) and Franz Beckenbauer (Germany).

In their statements, the bid committee also emphasized that legacy is to be a key part of the Russian lobbying campaign. “It would be a historic choice and an investment in the future,” said bid CEO Sorokin. “Making the World Cup happen in Russia would change the future not only of football but of sport generally in our country.”

FIFA will award the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups™ at a special meeting of its Executive Committee on 2 December 2010.

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