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President Putin sends World Cup trophy on its tour of Russia

Saturday, September 09, 2017 - 00:44

Putin and FIFA President Infantino hold up trophy before its tour begins

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SHOWS: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (SEPTEMBER 9, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN CARRIES WORLD CUP TROPHY TO PODIUM, FIFA PRESIDENT GIANNI INFANTINO APPLAUDS 2. RUSSIAN VLADIMIR PUTIN AND GIANNI INFANTINO HIGH-FIVE YOUNG SOCCER PLAYERS IN THE AUDIENCE AS THEY LEAVE 3. FORMER FRENCH INTERNATIONAL DAVID TREZEGUET KISSING AND LIFTING TROPHY ABOVE HIS HEAD 4. LUZHNIKI STADIUM STORY: The FIFA World Cup trophy began its longest ever national journey across a host country on Saturday (September 9) in Russia's Luzhniki Stadium before the 2018 championship. Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino launched the trophy's tour, with the head of world soccer's governing body praising Russia's readiness for the event. Surrounded by hundreds of young soccer players, Infantino and Putin took turns to hold the FIFA World Cup in their hands before it started its 123-day, 26,000 km (16,250 mile) journey. The trophy will visit 24 Russian cities, from Vladivostok in the far east to Kaliningrad, the most westerly of the host cities. Moscow has eased visa regulations for foreign soccer fans and pumped billions of dollars into stadiums, hotels and other infrastructure as the Kremlin is keen to improve Russia's image in its worst crisis with the West since the Cold War. Russia has come under several rounds of Western sanctions over the annexation of Crimea and Moscow's role in Ukraine's conflict with pro-Russian separatists. The Luzhniki stadium, which has undergone a five-year reconstruction, will host the opening and final games of the World Cup 2018.

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President Putin sends World Cup trophy on its tour of Russia

Saturday, September 09, 2017 - 00:44