The FIFA Confederations Cup starts in St. Petersburg on Saturday, June 17. Prior to the start of the main football event of the summer, a RIA “Voronezh” reporter found out why Voronezh residents decided to attend tournament’s matches and what they are expecting from the Russian National Team. 

Kirill Bobrov, an event host:

– The FIFA Confederations Cup is, let’s say, not the most important tournament. It’s not the World Championship or the European Championship, not the America Cup. But it is still interesting – there hasn’t been an event like this in our country yet, so I want to see some serious teams. I’ll witness four Moscow matches that will be held at “Otkrytie Arena” in Moscow. That’s Russia vs. Portugal, Cameroon vs. Chile, Australia vs. Chile and the match for the third place. I’ll get my wants and needs met – I have several events to host in Moscow during the tournament, I’ll stay at my friends’ house, work and watch some good football in my free time. I consider the ticket prices to the matches adequate. For some reason, people in Russia are not used to pay for entertainment. Everyone has money to have a couple of beers with friends, but when it comes to watching the German National Team play, they want it to be cheap. Yet, it is a quite an event for Russia, so I’ll support our team in the match against Portugal, they have a great national team. I will also gladly watch matches of the Chile National Team – they have Alexis Sánchez. And the stadium is said to be great too. I’m not expecting much from the Russian National Team in order not to be disappointed. I prefer being pleasantly surprised. 

Alexander Buynitsky, former ice hockey player of “Buran”:

– I love football, I support FC Barcelona. The way they play gives me aesthetic enjoyment. And even though some say today’s football is full of fake acts, winners can't be judged. I like watching quality football live – I’ve been to FC Barcelona’s match of at Camp Nou, to a game between PFC CSKA and FC Bayern München, went to Belarus to their national team’s match against the Spanish National Team. As for the Confederations Cup, I’ll attend it together with my friend, former “Buran” player Andrei Abramov. We are specifically going to Kazan to see watch the Germany vs. Chile match. I really wanted to watch particularly the German team play. I hope to see some attacking football and nice goals. I’m eagerly awaiting the trip.

Alexander Karpeev, a lawyer:

– I try to attend major sports tournaments – I’ve been to the 2012 European Championship, attended serious hockey tournaments. And since it is the first event of such level in Russia, I could not miss it. I’ve been into football since I was a child. At tournaments like this, I’m mostly interested in the game itself which is certainly supposed to be of high-quality, and, of course, the atmosphere at the stadium – regular sports fans are not very interested in matches with empty stands, but at the Confederations Cup stadiums will be packed. We will attend two matches. The first is Russia vs. Portugal. Our national team will compete with the European Champion, we will get to see Cristiano Ronaldo who is currently the world’s best football player. The second is the match for the third place of the tournament. It’s interesting to see who will play in it. But even if it will be some New Zeeland, I wont be disappointed – football is unpredictable, that’s why its is interesting. Both matches will be held at “Otkrytie Arena”, and as a fan of “Spartak” I specifically wanted to visit the stadium of this Moscow football club. And as for the new arenas, I’m hoping to see them already at the World Cup. As for ticket prices, I think they could have been lower. The cheapest ticket costs 960 rubles. However, a fan’s passport was quite easy to get. I bought the ticket, ordered the passport on the website at received it at the Central Post Office. I hope the tournament will go great, and the Russian National Team will step out of its group. But, objectively speaking, there will be stronger teams in the tournament than ours.

Ruslan Zudin, a manager:

– I’ve been to games of Russia vs. Poland, Russia vs. Sweden and “Spartak” vs. AFC Ajax. And now I bought the tickets to the third place match of the FIFA Confederations Cup. I.e., we don’t even know who is going to play there – it’s not important. What is more appealing is the status of the event – this is the first time such a tournament is held in Russia. We had no problem buying the tickets, got the fan’s passport easily – it all took three weeks. The only delay was at the post-office – no one could explain to us who exactly was supposed to give it to us. We will drive to Moscow and back in a single day – we’ll watch some football, take a walk around the city and then head home.

The context

The FIFA Confederations Cup is a tournament among national teams held under the auspice of FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football. It is considered a prelude to the World Cup. The Confederations Cup is contested by the holders of each of the six regional championships, along with the FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation. The 2017 Confederations Cup will be held in four Russian cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan.