While the various stakeholders of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ continue to diligently assemble the numerous pieces of the event, over in Russia the Local Organising Committee for the 2018 edition of the event is moving full steam ahead on its own massive jigsaw. This weekend, during a live broadcast on Russia's Channel One TV, FIFA and the 2018 LOC announced the host cities for the tournament, selected in close cooperation between the two entities based on a number of criteria. Eleven of the thirteen cities still in contention were chosen: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Yekaterinburg. Of these, one (Moscow) will include two stadiums, for a total of twelve.
HBS, in its capacity as host broadcaster of both the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups™, is of course paying close attention to developments in Russia and the statement from FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter praising "the speed of preparations for the tournament" and noting that the country is "already one year ahead" of traditional timelines came as music to the company's ears. President Blatter was attending the announcement ceremony as part of his first official 2018 FIFA World Cup™-related visit to the host nation. LOC Chairman Vitaly Mutko expressed his belief that all of the host cities "broadly represent the cultural and historical diversity of our nation. At the same time, their energetic nature and connection with Russian footballing tradition will allow the FIFA World Cup to leave a powerful and sustainable legacy in all of them.”
The 2018 LOC also released the host city posters for the event (two of which are shown above), the first time this has ever been done simultaneously with the announcement. The host city posters can be viewed here, while additional information on the 2018 FIFA World Cup can be accessed here.