Almost 4,000 foreigners have passed online Russian language courses to serve as volunteers at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia next summer.
The training courses were launched on the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute website for foreigners who submitted applications to serve as 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers.
“The number of participants was 3,802 – that’s a significant figure,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on Monday.
In February, the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee and the Pushkin Institute introduced special Russian language training courses for foreign volunteer candidates for the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup, which was staged this summer.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Volunteer Program, launched in June 2016, has provided an opportunity for football enthusiasts from around the globe to take part in the sport’s showcase spectacle.
The program is comprised of several stages including selecting, recruiting and training the volunteers; as well as coordinating their work during the World Cup in such areas as accreditation and operations, transport, language services, doping control, and ticketing.
In 2015, Russia’s Sports Ministry certified 15 universities in 11 World Cup host cities to set up training centers for volunteers who are Russian residents. International candidates will have to pass online screening.
Candidates were required to meet several criteria set by the volunteer program including being over 18, speaking fluent English, and possessing effective teamwork skills.
A total of 175,000 people submitted volunteer applications for next summer’s football showpiece in Russia, but only 15,000 will be chosen for the World Cup. Almost 30 percent of the applications were from foreign candidates.
The 2018 World Cup will be staged between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.