The most awaited sport tournament in global scale, FIFA World Cup has accomplished its 21th championship in Brazil in 2014 and now the world is looking forward to the next 2018 World Cup in Russia. This four year global agenda of football tournament is rather awaited for its spirit of the world’s most favored and competitive sport. People from all five continents watch countries representatives competing with the best football teams in the world. Moreover, this tournament is rather a point in which names of the best players in the world meet in the same venue for the same agenda. On the other hand, this world cup of football has always become the birth of rising football stars from each corner of the continents. On the other hand, countries are competing on bidding World Cup’s host, because being the host is an opportunity to increase economy, promote culture and tourism as well as strengthen status of international pride. In this case, Russia has won the bid for 2018 FIFA World Cup over other European countries’ proposal.
Russia’s bid for 2018 FIFA World Cup
In fact, the bids for 2018 and 2022 FIF World Cup hosts were held in the same year by FIFA Executive Committee. Russia begin its proposal to bid for 2018 FIFA World Cup host in early 2009 along with other eleven countries, including Japan, Indonesia, United States, and others. Bids over 2018 World Cup is considered very competitive requiring bidding countries to fulfill both administrative and technical qualification. Overtime till 2010 only four bidding countries remain to step ahead for Executive committee votes. These remaining countries are Russia, England, Spain/Portugal, and Netherlands/Belgium. According to agen sbobet these countries competing for 2018 World Cup host reflects a vision that 2018 World Cup will be held in Europe for the first time since 2006 or more than ten years ago. The voting of Executive Committee in Zurich in 2010 turned out Russia as 2018 World Cup host with total 22 votes in two rounds. These result made Russia win over Spain/Portugal (with total of 14 votes), Netherlands/Belgium (with total of 6 votes) and England (with 2 votes in the first round but eliminated in the second). This result is aside from FIFA’s inspection over Russia’s infrastructure, social stability as well as condition supporting the success of the tournament.
Russia’s host cities for 2018 FIFA World Cup
As officially pointed host of 2018, Russia Football Union along with 2018 World Cup official committees began to prepare essential material of the agenda, including the branding and the chosen host cities. As for branding, Russia overlies promoting of its culture and identities through the slogan ‘Dusha’ which means soul. The point of this branding is that the competition brings the soul of the Russian identity including its culture, history and arts. The brand was officially announced by the committee in October 2014. As for the chosen host cities, official committee of 2018 World Cup has outlined four main clusters including 13 Russia’s main cities for the venues of the global competition. First, Moscow will be the central cluster as 2018 World Cup venue. Moscow plays important role for the country as the center of its culture, history, government and art. As the metropolitan of Russia, Moscow also becomes the most important football city with its club, Spartak. Second, for the northern cluster, St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad will be the northern area for the World Cup venue. St. Petersburg is considered the second most important city in Russia after Moscow. St. Petersburg is well-known for its historical role in World War 2 and Cold War. Also, it becomes the favored Russian tourism destination. Kaliningrad also belongs to northern cluster which is located in Baltic Sea. Third, southern cluster includes Sochi, Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don. Southern cluster cities are well-known for 2014 Olympic Games venues as well as cities of literatures. Lastly, Volga clusters include Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Saransk. Volga cluster is credited from its cultural and linguistic heritage form Russian indigenous civilization.
Stadiums for 2018 FIFA World Cup
For 2018 World Cup, official committee has announced official names of stadiums for the venues, spreading over four geographical clusters. These 12 stadiums are either well-prepared or being constructed for seat reduction. The official names of the stadiums are:
1. Luszhinski Stadium and Spartak Stadium (Moscow)
2. Saint Petersburg Stadium (St. Petersburg)
3. Rostov Arena (Rostov-on-Don)
4. Nizhny Novgorod Stadium (Nizhny Novgorod)
5. Kaliningrad Stadium (Kaliningrad)
6. Kazan Arena (Kazan)
7. Fisht Stadium (Sochi)
8. Samara Arena (Samara)
9. Volgograd Arena (Volgograd)
10. Yekaterinburg Arena (Yekaterinburg)
11. Mordovia Arena (Saransk)
There stadiums are spread over Center Cluster, Northern Cluster, Southern Cluster and Volga Cluster as the official venues for 2018 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, these stadium names are either referring to the city in which they are located or to specific cultural aspect of the city. For example, Spartak stadium refer to the name of Moscow biggest football club; Luszhinski Stadium refer to particular district in Moscow. Meanwhile, Mordovia Stadium refers to both Mordovians as the largest indigenous people of Russia and Republic of Mordovia, a regional part of Russia.
Pros and cons of Russia’s 2018 World Cup bid
As the largest country in Europe and being among the world’s most developed countries, Russia is considered well-prepared in managing next 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, as a leading addressed country in international affairs, Russia’s bid for hosting the World Cup has emerged some contradictive views, either from government official or from sport association officials. First, Russia’s bid is considered problematic for Russia’s racialism issues. Though committee is working on strengthening the security for the tournament, Russians are well known for their racist and discriminative view over color, sex orientation and religion. Being host of global tournaments will endanger visitors from such discrimination. Second, Russia’s bid is opposed for Russia’s invasion issue over Ukraine. In international affairs, Russia has been charged with military aggression over Ukrainian territory as well as violating multilateral regulation. Hosting the World Cup is believed to be a maneuver of Putin’s government to gain international support for his policies. Well, despite these issues, Russia has been working on very well preparation for 2018 FIFA World Cup.