FIFA World Cup 2018 is underway in Russia with all its glamour and everyone is glued to the television screens while supporting their home, or favorite, teams. Having started on 14 June 2018 with the kick-off match between the hosts Russia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the FIFA World Cup 2018 has proved to be a huge success.
Rio Ferdinand filling in the gap left by British diplomacy regarding Russia, representing his country in a way that doesn't demean it. Rio's star rises as a result of this meeting with #Putin. Good for him not being swayed by the establishment propaganda.https://t.co/VZLzBa8OcN
— John Wight (@JohnWight1) July 6, 2018
While the success of the football’s grand event bodes well for Russia and speaks volumes about the efforts put in by the authorities, replicating the success of the event in 2022 will be nothing short of a challenge for the host nation Qatar. Russia has set enormously high standards for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and with all the controversies surrounding Qatar, not just about the World Cup bribery cases as well as the political tensions with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, the host nation will have to be at their supreme best to pull off a mesmerizing event like that of Russia which is quite frankly impossible.
Prophets of doom, the reactionaries eating humble pie. Russia looks like it's gonna host very successful FIFA world Cup tournament. Putin!
— Themba Godi (@themba_godi) June 14, 2018
Public Opinion on Russia as World Cup Host Before the World Cup
Russia has earned a name in organizing leading worldwide sporting events and people had placed enormous trust in Putin’s government and the other concerned authorities to pull off yet another scintillating event this year. To say the least, Russia has lived up to the expectation, if not more. Even their team has qualified to the later stages of the competition. The Russian team started their World Cup campaign with a great win against Saudi Arabia but the Saudis proved to be good sports and took the loss all smiles.
— RT Sport (@RTSportNews) July 5, 2018
In a pre-world cup poll undertaken by a statistics group – Statista – asked the survey participants whether they think of Russia is a better World Cup host as compared to others in the race. The results showed a good chunk of people putting their faith in Russian authorities to organize a fascinating grand event. 56% of the participants favored Russia to host the event with India (86%), China (84%) and Peru (83%) among those countries leading the way.
Stats via Statista
Russia’s Efforts Coming of Age
12 venues across 11 stadiums are hosting the premier football competition with 32 teams fighting for glory. With Germany defending the title and getting knocked out in the group stage, the event had promised to be a huge hit and it sure has; the world-class arrangements for the teams and fans from across the globe and the constant efforts by the authorities to make the event flawless are evident.
Meanwhile, 2000 miles from Amesbury, Vladimir Putin is meeting “legends of world football”. They are showering him with compliments for FIFA 2018. Feels like the winner of this World Cup is Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/FvvjfEF5c7
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) July 6, 2018
While there was no doubt left regarding Russia’s ability to host the quadrennial event following the country’s successful hosting of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 – prelude to the World Cup – across 4 cities including Moscow, Sochi, Kazan and St. Petersburg. The country had showcased its readiness to host the grand finale in the best possible event. Any ambiguities, still, have faded out with growing success of the event in Russia.
For Confederations Cup 2017, 638,000 people flew in to Russia with the final’s attendance being 57,268. The numbers are the third highest ever in the tournament’s history and the same can be expected in the World Cup. With 80% of the visitors claiming that the tournament had improved their perception of Russia, the country is well on its way record huge numbers in all aspects.
Despite the fact that the country was embroiled in various controversies right before the start of the event, Russian President Vladimir Putin had assured that the World Cup will be nothing short of a spectacular event for millions of fans around the world. President Putin has certainly delivered on his promises.
World Cup shows ‘Russia is a hospitable country’ – Putin pic.twitter.com/K8sfQxzXCZ
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) July 6, 2018
The successful hosting of yet another major event would mean an improved opinion of the country among the masses as well as a major economic boost for the country. With government all focused on making this World Cup a success, it seems that Russia would manage to achieve its goals, provided everything continues to go smoothly.
World Cup has broken Russian stereotypes! – Putin pic.twitter.com/ML4T97E2F0
— RT (@RT_com) July 6, 2018
There have been efforts by foreign media to amplify stereotypes about Russia and it’s SO so-called “KGB like” secret police but many see this as a pathetic attitude towards a country and people who are literally opening their arms for visitors from around the world.