The FIFA World Cup takes place in Russia this summer. The culmination of thousands of hours of hard work for hundreds of players will kick off on the 15th of June with 32 nations hoping that they will be the ones to lift the world-famous Jules Rimet trophy. The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow will hold both the first and final game of the tournament, and in between there will be 62 other matches held across 11 stadiums in 11 cities, from St. Petersburg to Samara, Sochi and Yaroslavi.
Iceland (population = 334,000) and Panama (population = 4 million) will be playing in their first tournament. Brazil, on the other hand, are the only team to have played in every World Cup, winning it 5 times. The last coming against Germany in 2002, in South Korea.
As with every major sporting event, there are plenty who lament what they see as a waste of money that could be better spent on education, healthcare etc. There are also question marks about the facilities and what use they will have when the competition is over, with that in mind here are some facts and figures, issued by Russian authorities, about the impact of this World Cup
- 100,000 jobs have been created with 13,000 people involved in the construction and renovation of stadiums.
- Along with the 12 stadiums that have gone under development, 96 training centres have been created with a total training capacity of over 16,000 to be used by youth and children after the World Cup finishes.
- Public services have been upgraded as part of the work to host the games. 26 transport facilities have been built or upgraded including 11 airports, 3 new metro stations and 9 roads. 13 hospitals have also been upgraded or reconstructed.
- 3 billion people will watch the tournament with 3,000,000 to attend games, and 1,000,000 to come from overseas. 27 new hotels have been built to deal with the increased tourism which since 2011 has increased by 71%.
- All stadiums are compliant with green building standards while 800 hectares of city parks and public green zones will be renovated as part of the world cup.
- 115 football centres, of varying sizes will be created by 2020
- 5,800 football coaches have undergone training to improve qualifications between the years 2011 and 2015
- 210 football facilities were created between 2011 and 2015