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2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Organizing an event of the magnitude of the FIFA World Cup is a lengthy business, and the bidding process to host both the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups started in January 2009, with February 2 being the cut-off date for national associations to register. While initially nine countries made known their intention to bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, by the time the final selection was to take place there were four bids in the running – Russia, England, Netherlands/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. When the FIFA Executive Committee, consisting of twenty-two members, met in Zürich on December 2, 2010, two rounds of voting took place, with Russia gaining the most votes in both, and England being eliminated in the second round.

The host cities proposed by Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup include Kazan, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Sochi, Saransk, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg. Of the 14 stadiums proposed for the championship football events, three are existing stadiums that must be renovated, and the balance will be newly constructed. Moscow is the only city which will have two venues – Luzhniki Stadium and Otkrytie Arena.

FIFA World Cup events attract thousands of football fans to host cities, and the Russian cities hosting the 2018 event have plenty of historical and cultural attractions for visitors to enjoy. As the capital city of Russia, Moscow has long been a top tourism destination. Nature lovers will no doubt enjoy the 96 parks and 18 gardens to be found in Moscow, while history enthusiasts will find plenty of museums and historical landmarks to keep them busy. Moscow attractions include the 'Friendship of Nations' fountain in the All-Russia Exhibition Center; the Square of Europe with its colorful fountains at night; the Moscow Zoo; the garden at the Tretyakov Gallery where statues from the Soviet Union era are displayed; and the Red Army Theater. The nightlife in Moscow is legendary, with a host of nightclubs, bars and restaurants offering good food and lively entertainment.

Visitors to Russia may hear it said that "Moscow is not Russia", and it’s true that other cities have much to offer – a fact which is often overlooked by tourists trying to cram as much as possible into a visit. The 2018 FIFA World Cup offers the opportunity to visit and explore some of Russia's other major cities.


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