Organisers say World Cup has transformed perception of Russian Federation

Lynette Rowe
July 16, 2018

The FIFA president, Gianni Infantino - sporting the red volunteer jacket that has been a common sight throughout the tournament - looked visibly pleased while reiterating his call of announcing Russian Federation 2018 as the "best World Cup ever". New vehicle sales growth slowed in June to 11 percent from 18 percent a month earlier, with analysts blaming the World Cup as the factor that distracted buyers.

The emir says through a translator that the World Cup "will be a huge and great festival for all our country". "No decision has been taken as of now and we still have a World Cup with 32 teams", he said.

As the official smartphone of the World Cup, Vivo has been organising the "Vivo Super Fan Photographers" programme, which has been going on all tournament long - since Russian Federation kicked things off a month ago with a 5-0 triumph over Saudi Arabia.

There were several questions about the wisdom of moving to a 48-team World Cup, which is scheduled to happen in 2026 in North America, but Infantino has been trying to move forward to 2022 in Qatar, and queries related to Europe's continued dominance on the pitch. Then we will decide calmly what the decision is.

"We hope to overcome all the difficulties", he said.

More teams at the next World Cup?

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Infantino reported that what is not yet confirmed is how many teams will participate.

Among the options that have been considered is a play-off round involving 32 nations from which 16 winners would join 16 seeded teams in a traditional group stage. "It showed who we are".

But he suggested that homophobia should have the same status as racism in the FIFA statutes and added that a more coordinated approach was needed from football organizations, such as FIFA and regional confederations, when it comes to repeat offenses from countries including Mexico and Croatia.

We've discussed the issue of increasing the number of teams in the World Cup; we've done a lot of research on that and unanimously chose to increase the number of teams to 48, ' he stressed.

"Croatia, who are in the final, they had to go to a playoff". We could see on social media that people were astonished by the beauty of the country and the nature of the people.

Nevertheless having secured the spoils, Vladimir Putin and his acolytes focused unswervingly on hitting their target of putting on the best World Cup ever - and laying to rest the image of Russian Federation as an autocratic hostile state.

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