Confederations Cup Park brings party atmosphere to Moscow
There is not long to go until the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, and the
party atmosphere of a major football tournament was already in evidence
in Moscow over the weekend.
The FIFA Confederations Cup Park set up camp in a popular recreational
spot in the capital, the Muzeon Park of Arts, allowing locals to enjoy
many different activities, including chatting with football stars, taking
part in fun football competitions, getting photos of the FIFA Confederations
Cup Winner's Trophy, and meeting the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaT's Official
Mascot, ZabivakaT. Overall, it was a great way to spend time with friends
In what was also Moscow's warmest couple of days in recent months, those
who came to the park were clearly left fulfilled. When else do you get
a chance to take a selfie with the Trophy, which in two months will belong
to the winners of the tournament in Russia? Legendary France defender
Marcel Desailly, who captained his country to two triumphs at the competition,
was given the honour of bringing the Trophy out onto the main stage.
'I've always said that the Confederations Cup is a genuinely gripping
competition in its own right,' Desailly explained. 'I played at it twice
and both times it was very exciting. Top-level sides are coming to Russia
and they'll all take their preparations extremely seriously and be dreaming
about winning the cup. I hope Russians get to enjoy top-class football.
Come to the stadiums and see for yourself.'
The wolf Zabivaka starred in his role attracting visitors to the entertainment
on offer and proved to be just as big a hit as the former footballers.
The most popular attraction was 'Robokeeper', the nimblest shot-stopper
in the world. Only a few were able to score past the robotic goalkeeper,
although Desailly did manage the feat. Nevertheless, the chance to test
out the power and accuracy of one's shot piqued the interest of practically
everyone who came.
This was just one of many possible activities at the park: the public
could also battle one another in freestyling contests blending football
and table tennis, try on national headgear from each FIFA Confederations
Cup participating country and get to know the World Cup mascots who came
before Zabivaka. There were even opportunities to win tickets to the Confederations
Cup in football-related competitions.
'I didn't think it was possible to think up so many interesting things
connected to football,' said 20-year-old Anastasiya Denisova, who came
to the park with her friends. 'Now I really want to go to this amazing
tournament.' The tickets for the tournament, which starts on 17 June,
are available at FIFA.com/Tickets.
'We can say that Russia is totally ready to host this tournament,' said
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee,
Vitaly Mutko. 'We've opened Ticketing Centres in every Host City. I'm
sure the competition will bring us a lot of joy and we will try to organise
it at a high standard. You can already get a taste of the festival of
football here in this park.'
Volunteers from all five Russia 2018 Volunteer Centres in Moscow played
a crucial role in putting on the event and setting the party mood. Soon
they will be doing the same job at the Tournament of Champions.
Desailly impressed with Luzhniki
The park inspired by football naturally included a few kickabouts as well,
with Desailly rolling back the years and showing his skills on a small
football pitch. As part of his trip to Russia, the Frenchman also managed
to squeeze in the Moscow Derby between CSKA and Spartak in the Russian
Premier League, and also visit the Luzhniki Stadium, the showpiece arena
of Russia 2018 that has recently undergone reconstruction.
'What an amazing stadium! It's very pragmatic and pleasant to the eye'
Desailly said. 'The pitch is already in very good condition. I'm sure
we'll have a lot of fun at the World Cup in this beautiful arena'.
After Saturday and Sunday in Moscow, the FIFA Confederations Cup Park
will be in Sochi (6-7 May), Kazan (13-14 May) and finally Saint Petersburg
01 May 2017