Wednesday, August 23, 2017

World Cup 2018 bidding criteria released

The organizing committee for the 2018 World Cup revealed five criteria on Tuesday that it will use to cut 13 cities bidding to host matches down to 11 by September.

Russia is confining the tournament mainly to its European territory and plans to group the host cities into five clusters. While St. Petersburg and Moscow have been guaranteed host city status and Sochi and Kazan are thought to be certainties, the remaining seven spots will be battled out by Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, Rostov, Saransk, Volgograd, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl and Kaliningrad, Ria Novosti reports.

"The Cheshire Cat answered Alice's question 'Which way ought I to go from here?' by saying 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,'" Alexei Sorokin, the committee director, said, according to Ria Novosti. "We need to answer this question for ourselves when it comes to organizing the World Cup."

The committee will begin to take an inspection delegation from governing body FIFA on a two-and-a-half month tour of the 13 cities on April 9. The cities will be assessed on their current infrastructural development, local living standards, public opinion of the tournament the potential to attract volunteers, the possibility to attract investment, the creativity of its hosting concept and the potential legacy.

"The leading criterion is the ability to hold a sports festival with all one's heart...to show Russian hospitality and how brilliantly, beautifully and with such warmth we can hold the World Cup," Sorokin said, according to Ria Novosti. "(Another priority is to) show the whole world that old stereotypes don't exist any more, that Russia is new, that Russia is young, and that Russia is a worthy partner for the world not only in the football arena but in everyday life."