Moscow, Dec 31: A new record in the number of volunteers bids for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia was registered in the global football tournament's history, Alexei Sorokin, the director general of Russia-2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC), said.
"We are more than satisfied with the results of the (volunteer recruitment program)," Sorokin said in an interview with Tass on Friday, December 30. We have received an overall of some 170,000 applications. This is the most impressive campaign by its scale in FIFA's history."
The 2018 World Cup as well as the 2017 Confederations Cup Volunteer Recruitment campaign was launched at a solemn ceremony in Moscow on June 1 by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
In October of 2015, the Russian Sports Ministry certified 15 higher education establishments in 11 cities across Russia, officially authorising them to recruit and prepare volunteers for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, which are the two major FIFA events to be hosted by Russia in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
A total of 5,000 volunteers were to be selected to serve at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, while 15,000 volunteers were planned to be recruited for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The deadline for submitting the applications was December 30, 2016.
The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.
Seven nations have already qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup and they are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup winners Portugal and OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup winners New Zealand.
The remaining eighth nation will be determined following the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.