The "Festival of Champions" is coming, which brings together the best teams of the continents. Along with Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, Kazan crossed the 500 days mark before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup, which will be staged in these four cities from 17 June to 2 July, 2017. The importance of staging the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ for the host country, and how the capital of Tatarstan is preparing for it, were mentioned at a press briefing on 4 February at the Republican Press and Mass Communications Agency. Participants of the briefing were State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Natalya Parshikova, Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Khalil Shaikhutdinov, and the head of the division for preparation of venues and organisation of events in the host city of Kazan for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Azat Kadyrov.
"500 days to go until the start of the competitions is a special date for Kazan. It does not just mean that the tournament is approaching, but also another important event – the Draws. Kazan already has considerable experience in international events, and has been granted the right to receive an event of such a status," said Natalya Parshikova to reporters. She talked about the official emblem of the competitions, which was presented on 3 February in Moscow, and stressed that the corporate identity of the tournament is a source of pride for its Russian organisers.
The official emblem is shaped like the main FIFA Confederations Cup Trophy, in which a mythical creature occupies central place – the Firebird. This fairy tale character was the prototype of the magic ball, a central element of the FIFA World Cup brand. The Firebird brings life and movement to the components of the official emblem. The elegant tail feathers cover the lower part of the emblem and replicate the spiral design of the official trophy. 8 points represent the 8 countries whose teams are participating in the tournament. The "Magic Feather" represents the cherished dream of all players – victory in the FIFA Confederations Cup. The main colours – red and silver – are lively and warm, and symbolise the kindness and hospitality of the Russian people. The colourful official symbols of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, with a multi-layered pattern were devised based on the same fairy tale that became the basis for the creation of the enchanting symbols of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. This demonstrates the link between the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, and the former is a kind of "dress rehearsal" for the latter.
"The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup is a great football celebration, which will bring together the current champions of all six Confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA), as well as the winner of the previous FIFA World Cup and the host team. For us, the opportunity to receive visitors to the competitions is a great honour and responsibility," said Khalil Shaikhutdinov. He said that 4 matches are scheduled for June 2017 in Kazan as part of the FIFA Confederations Cup. It is already known that on 24 June, 2017, the Russian national team will play a group game at Kazan Arena, which will be the main venue for the matches of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup in the capital of Tatarstan.
During inspection visits to the stadium in 2014 and 2015, the FIFA representatives confirmed the high level of readiness of the venue. Today, a project is being prepared to adapt engineering systems of the stadium, IT systems and equipment, and preparation of specialised places for client groups. There will be a football field in accordance with FIFA requirements, and it is planned to provide additional parking spaces.
"In addition, we are currently reconstructing three training grounds – Elektron Stadium, the Central Stadium, and Rubin Stadium, the grounds of our football club," said Khalil Shaikhutdinov. The role of hospitable hosts of the tournament will be fulfilled by city volunteers, primarily because the "venue" of the events is not the football stadium, but the whole city.
The next event for Kazan in preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup is the upcoming Draw. It will take place on 26 November at the Tennis Academy. It is expected that the events related to this event will be attended by about 800 guests – sports functionaries, representatives of participating countries, and sports and international celebrities. "By staging the event, the newly built Badminton Centre will be involved, which will open very soon. It is planned to accommodate about 500 journalists in the Media Centre and Broadcasting Centre," said Azat Kadyrov.
On the eve of the Draws in Kazan, a meeting of the Organising Committee for the staging of the FIFA Confederations Cup and a seminar for teams will also be held. The seminar for teams is scheduled for 25-26 November. It will discuss organisational and administrative preparations for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
"In staging the events, it is planned to also include Korston Hotel, the Main International Centre and Kazan City Hall. To date, in terms of preparation, we are moving according to schedule. Protocol routes for transportation of guests have been developed and places of accommodation for guests and participants of the draw have been defined. The Russia 2018 Organising Committee is developing the concept of the event itself," concluded Azat Kadyrov.
Press Office of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects