Start of 2018 Football World Cup Volunteer Programme 2016-06-01 16:00:00 Moscow Vladimir Putin took part in a ceremony launching the start of the Volunteer Programme for the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Volunteer Programme will see more than 5,000 volunteers taking part in the Confederation Cup and more than 15,000 in the World Cup. Around 20,000 people will take part in volunteer programmes in the different World Cup host cities. Volunteer centres in the 11 host cities will take applications from would-be volunteers in Russia and abroad and make their selection by the end of 2017. Applications can be sent to the site fifa.com/volunteers. The Football World Cup will run from June 14-July 15 2018 and will take place at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Sochi, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, and Samara. * * * Address at a ceremony launching the start of the 2018 Football World Cup Volunteer Programme President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this wonderful event today – the launch of the 2018 Football World Cup Volunteer Programme. We are now only 742 days away from the world’s biggest football celebration, which Russia will host for the first time ever. This country will play host to the 32 best national teams in the world. Today, we begin putting together the ‘33rd team’ – the world cup’s biggest team – the team of volunteers. Over the month the world cup takes place, these 15,000 young men and women in volunteer uniforms will be the face of our country for dozens of thousands of football fans from all around the world. It is you, the volunteers, who will be crucial for the kind of impressions of Russia our guests will take home with them. The volunteer movement has already proved its worth and provided real help during big international forums, competitions and meetings. Your predecessors did an excellent job during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and at the 2013 World Student Games in Kazan. The Football World Cup is one of the sports world’s biggest global events. It is a great honour and a real celebration for all participants to be involved in this event. I want to add that being a volunteer is not just about a chance to find yourself next to football stars, don a fine uniform, and simply spend time with interesting people, but it is also about selfless and sincere service for noble and constructive goals. This is the true essence of the volunteer movement. Volunteers, we will hold world cup matches in various cities around the country, in the south, north, east and west. Each city and region has its own unique historical and cultural monuments, traditions and customs of hospitality. We hope that volunteers will also play an active part in helping to carry out the largescale cultural programme that is part of this world cup. In other words, we hope you will not only help the guests find their way to sports venues, but will also be ready to give them tips on interesting sightseeing routes and provide them with information on cultural and leisure sites. Preparations for the world cup are in full swing. Three stadiums – in Kazan, Sochi, and the Spartak Stadium in Moscow – have already been completed. Work is in progress on the other 9 sites. All of the builders promise that the sites will be ready on schedule, and I am sure that they will keep their word. Construction work at the event’s main venue – the Luzhniki Stadium – is ahead of schedule and it will be ready for opening in December this year. A number of infrastructure facilities will be ready for use next year for the Confederation Cup. This will be a big and important trial before the World Cup in 2018. I am sure that we will ensure the highest possible level of organisation both for the athletes and for the event’s guests. Everyone should feel they are part of this great football festival, and I count very much on your help here. Friends, the volunteer movement is becoming an ever more important part of Russia’s public life. Tens of thousands of people are getting involved and are ready to selflessly help those who need their support. I hope that many of you who become volunteers at the Football World Cup will keep the positive energy boost this unique competition will give you and will continue your volunteer mission in other projects and initiatives of social significance. I wish you luck from all my heart! Thank you very much.