1000 days remain until the 2018 FIFA World Cup begins 2015-09-18 12:20:00 Speaking via video linkup, Vladimir Putin greeted people attending a ceremony launching the countdown from 1000 days until the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup begins in Russia. The President said he is sure that the 2018 World Cup in Russia will go down in world sports history and promised that Russia will do everything needed to be a good host for the competing teams and their fans. The ceremony launching the countdown took place on Red Square in Moscow, which today is hosting International Youth Football Tournament matches in which youth teams from Russia, Germany, Spain and Italy are competing. The 2018 World Cup matches will take place from June 14 to July 15 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, and Rostov-on-Don. Competition will open at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on June 14, 2018. * * * President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. It is from all my heart that I greet everyone taking part in today’s ceremony, and all footballs fans and lovers of what it would be no exaggeration to call the world’s number one sport. You have gathered at the very heart of our capital, Moscow, on Red Square, to launch the symbolic countdown to the start of the football world cup. Russia will be hosting the world cup for the first time ever, and now, exactly 1000 days remain before the start of this marvellous event. I am sure that this time will fly by rapidly, all the more so as there are many interesting and memorable events lined up on the road to the world cup’s start. The first of these events is the International Youth Football Tournament, which will begin in just a few minutes on Red Square. I can already see the participants — youth aged under 16, from four countries. They have every chance of being able to come back to Russia in 2018 as members of their countries’ national teams. I wish them success in their sporting achievements and hope they will set an example for their fellow youth and for everyone who chooses sport and a healthy, active lifestyle. Indeed, encouraging as many people as possible to take up sport is the main aim of big international sports events such as the Olympics and the various world championships, including the football world cup. As you know, Russia takes a very responsible attitude towards hosting such events. The preparations for the world cup are in full swing in the 11 Russian cities that will host world cup matches. We will do everything necessary to receive the world’s best 32 football teams and give them the conditions they need to demonstrate their skill and give their millions of fans around the world the gift of real top-level football. Truly memorable moments await those who come to Russia to support their teams. Not only will they be there in the stadiums to watch the world’s best footballers, they will also have the chance to get to know Russian culture and history and taste our country’s traditional hospitality and warmth. We always love receiving visitors and we promise to put on a magnificent sporting celebration that I am sure will go down in the history of world sport and world football and, most importantly, will bring the large and happy international football family even closer together. I wish you good luck and all the very best! Until we meet again in Russia in 2018! I wish you success! I wish the young athlets success in today’s competition too. All the very best!