Hospitality is in our blood, says Sorokin

The Local Organising Committee CEO, Alexey Sorokin, has been working tirelessly since 2010 to make the World Cup a success.

"The atmosphere has been truly hospitable and cordial at every venue and city," LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin said.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The World Cup in Russia has been a roaring success so far with 2.2 million fans attending the opening 48 matches. The Local Organising Committee CEO Alexey Sorokin, who has worked tirelessly since 2010 on the project, is naturally a pleased man.

“We have shown to the world that we welcome any fans from any country. The atmosphere has been truly hospitable and cordial at every venue and city,” Sorokin said. “There are many stories from real life that show that Russians have really been helping this to be a fantastic show. This hospitality is something we have in our blood. You cannot organise this in an artificial way, you cannot impose this on people.”

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Elaborating on the concept of Fan Id, which has made entry into Russia and inter and intra-city transport easier for the fans, Sorokin said: “We don’t view the Fan Id just as a security tool. It opens up the country to fans without a visa and offers them free transport. But it is also a security tool, if a person is involved in criminal or improper activity inside the ground then the appropriate authorities take the decision and the Ids can be reckoned as well.”

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Happy with the host nation’s progress to the knockout stages, Sorokin added: “We are happy that Russia has made it to the knockouts but we are not surprised, as the team has been training hard for the past few months for this moment. Hopefully, they will continue to inspire the Russian people.”

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