Over 2,000 welcome flags will appear on Moscow streets in honour of the World Cup. One side of the flags will feature the World Cup trophy and the official mascot, Zabivaka the Wolf with a ball, while the other side will depict Moscow sights such as the monument to Yury Gagarin and the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower. Also, the flags will have the inscriptions Welcome and Welcome in Russian: Добро пожаловать.
“The city’s utility companies will decorate Moscow for the World Cup. Flags will be put up at 88 locations: in the centre, along major roads, squares and bridges as well as along walkways from metro stations and public transit stops at the stadiums and fan zones. Flags will be arranged in 6 to 20-metre-high compositions,” said Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov.
Among other places, flags will appear on the Novoarbatsky, Borodinsky, Krymsky, Bolshoi Moskvoretsky, Bolshoi Ustyinsky, Bolshoi Kamenny and Bolshoi Krasnokholmsky bridges as well as Samotyochnaya Overpass, Komsomolskaya Square and near Paveletsky, Belorussky and Kiyevsky railway stations. The tournament mascot will be on display in Zaryadye Park, near the Moscow Zoo, by the main entrance to Gorky Park and on Poklonnaya Gora.
“Also, lighting will be switched on and a themed video will be displayed on “book buildings” (high-rises shaped like open books) Nos. 11 and 19 on Novy Arbat Street during the World Cup. The first screening will start on 14 June at 9.40 pm and will last until midnight,” Biryukov said.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will run from 14 June through 15 July in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Saransk. Moscow will be the main host city: 12 games and the opening and closing ceremonies will be held here.
The main matches will be played at Luzhniki Big Sports Arena. The World Cup will be opened by a match between the national teams of Russia and Saudi Arabia. Also, Luzhniki will host three group stage matches, a Round of 16 match, a semifinal and a final matches. Spartak Stadium will host four group stage matches and a Round of 16 match.