Moscow, July 14 (IANS) The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been a resounding success, according to the Local Organizing Committees chairman and Russian Vice Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, who on Saturday praised the work done across the country’s 12 host cities.
The majority of the heavy lifting in terms of logistics is nearly complete; all that remains is the third-place playoff pitting Belgium against England later Saturday, followed by the Croatia-France final on Sunday, reports Efe.
“Based on the feedback, Russia’s World Cup was a real success. This is the opinion of the fans, those who traveled across the country and the opinion of the TV audience,” Dvorkovich said during a press conference.
“The cities coped both in terms of hospitality and security. The most important thing is that our citizens showed that Russia is an open and friendly country,” he added.
Local Organizing Committee CEO Alexey Sorokin highlighted how well Russia handled the massive influx of World Cup supporters, saying “Airports processed a total of 15 million passengers during the World Cup, it’s mind-blowing. Over 300,000 passengers used the free trains. Around 7 million people attended the fan fests. Our guests are happy and returning home with warm feelings.”
“We were pleasantly surprised with the 98 per cent attendance rate at the matches. We showed to the whole world that we love football and we are the country of football,” he added.
Sorokin also highlighted his national team’s “brilliant performance” that brought them to their first-ever World Cup quarterfinals, where they lost to Croatia on a penalty shootout.