Volunteers’ recruitment programme for 2018 football World Cup sets new record

Moscow, Jan 18 (IANS) A programme for recruiting volunteers for the 2018 football World Cup in Russia has set a new record with around 1,77,000 applications submitted, global governing body FIFA has said.

“This exceeds the previous record by almost 25,000 applications, set four years ago when 1,52,101 applications were received for the 2014 World Cup Brazil,” the statement from FIFA said on Tuesday, reports Tass.

The 2018 World Cup as well as the 2017 Confederations Cup Volunteer Recruitment campaign was launched at a ceremony in Moscow on June 1 last year by Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“In the period from 1 June 2016, when Russia President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino jointly launched the volunteer campaign, to the end of the application period on 30 December, around 1,77,000 people expressed an interest in becoming volunteers for the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC),” the statement said.

The statement also said that over a quarter of all submitted applications were from outside Russia, that showed great interest of foreign volunteers to become a part of the mega event.

“There was significant interest in the Russia 2018 Volunteer Programme from abroad; more than a quarter of all candidates (27 percent) sent in their applications from 190 different countries outside Russia,” according to FIFA.

Commenting on the new record of volunteers’ applications, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and LOC Chairman Vitaly Mutko said: “Immediately after the campaign got underway, we saw how much interest there was in the volunteer programme for the Confederations Cup and World Cup.”

“Now our aim is to select and train the volunteers and give them everything they need to help create an unparalleled and unique festive atmosphere at the tournaments, which are coming up fast,” Mutko added.

A total of 5,000 volunteers were to be selected to serve at the 2017 Confederations Cup, while 15,000 volunteers were planned to be recruited for the 2018 World Cup. The deadline for submitting the applications was December 30, 2016.