Putin urges fans to help tourists at World CupJanuary 20th, 2012 - 8:20 am ICT by IANS
Moscow, Jan 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has put out an impassioned call for football fans across the nation to turn the 2018 World Cup into a festival for the sport.
Russia is hosting football’s top tournament for the first time, and for Putin, who is widely expected to return as president in the March elections, putting on a show to remember would be a matter of personal pride.
“I’m counting on the fact that the leaders of fan clubs and all football supporters in general will be incorporated into preparations for the World Cup and help make this event a genuine festival for all lovers of this wonderful sport,” Putin said.
Putin, who lobbied hard for FIFA to grant the event to Russia over more traditional football strongholds such and England and Spain, called for the formation of a volunteer movement to help the expected hoards of tourists feel welcome.
“It is from your ranks that the volunteers should come,” said Putin.
The prime minister promised to take the recommendations of supporters associations into account when it comes to creating the necessary infrastructure for the tournament.
Russia is building or refurbishing more than a dozen stadiums in preparation for the World Cup, which is to be held in in 11 cities mainly in the country’s European region.
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Tags: elections, fan clubs, fifa, football fans, football supporters, hoards, moscow, necessary infrastructure, personal pride, putting on a show, ria novosti, russia, russian prime minister, stadiums, strongholds, tourists, vladimir putin, volunteer movement, volunteers, world cup