Ballet, pop stars & folk dances as Russian Federation welcomes FIFA Confederations Cup

Jun 18, 2017, 01:26
Ballet, pop stars & folk dances as Russian Federation welcomes FIFA Confederations Cup

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: "The work that has been carried out in FIFA World Cup qualifier matches in all confederations will now also be implemented for the first time in a FIFA tournament".

A year before Russian Federation holds the World Cup, the behaviour of fans and concerns over racism are topics the host nation hopes will not be a factor at the eight-team Confederations Cup.

Hosts Russia eased to a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday in the opening match of the Confederations Cup, a tournament seen as a test for the country before it stages next year's World Cup.

The Krestovsky Stadium has been mired in scandal, taking over a decade to build at an estimated cost of $800 million, amid allegations of corruption.

Putin had also asked the players to perform like warriors, though they hardly needed to be war-like in dispatching No. 95 New Zealand, which seemed to find the world stage too big.

"The infrastructure, hotels, transportation systems - everything's ready".

"If sanctions and education do not work then we have to take it further", said the Federation Internationale de Football Association official, who said it has prepared an anti-racism message from Diego Maradona to be revealed today.

"As far as the Confederations Cup is concerned, tickets are never sold out. Russian Federation is 100 per cent ready", Kolobkov said.

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The tough nut says the Aussies are not in Russian Federation simply to "swap a few jerseys with big players" appearing for their more fancied opponents.

"Together with the possibility to apply the three-step procedure, these are ground-breaking changes in the global fight against discrimination that will mark the 2017 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup".

"It is the experience and knowledge that will be of enormous value for 2018".

Germany face Copa America title-holders Chile, 2015 Asian Cup champions Australia, and this year's Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon in Group B.

Federation Internationale de Football Association will for the first time also implement a three-step procedure that allow referees to stop matches in the event of racist or discriminatory incidents - a new measure Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko welcomed as the "absolute right decision".

Fifa formally launched the initiative jointly with the game's law-making body Ifab (International Football Association Board) on Thursday as part of a strategy "focusing on improving fairness and the image of the game", it said in a statement.

As a special host for the event, former football star and now popular sports blogger Stan Collymore has joined RT.

"The chances of losing the right to attend Confederations Cup and World Cup matches are significantly increased for people who are known to have committed serious violations", the organising committee said in comments e-mailed to Reuters.

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