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Russia hands over World Cup host mantle to Qatar

July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

A ceremony to hand over World Cup host mantle took place at the Moscow Kremlin. The ceremony was attended by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The President of Russia handed over a red and white football with the 2018 World Cup logo to the Emir of Qatar, the country that will host the next World Cup between November 21 and December 18, 2022.

The ceremony took place in the Kremlin's Armorial Hall.

The World Cup final match will take place today, July 15, at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, with France playing against Croatia.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, Mr Infantino, friends,

We are holding a pleasant official event today: Russia is handing over the FIFA World Cup host's mantle to Qatar.

The World Cup in Russia is nearing its end. We are proud of what we have managed to do for all the fans of this wonderful sport. We, the entire country, have immensely enjoyed the world of football and the fans who came to Russia from all over the world.

I am confident that our friends from Qatar will be able to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the same high level. Of course, we are ready to share with our friends in Qatar the experience we have gained while hosting this year's World Cup.

We will make every effort for football to implement its wonderful humanitarian mission of uniting people, countries and continents.

Thank you.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino: Mr President, Your Highness, today I am a happy man.

Dear friends, welcome. (In Russian.) Dorogiye druzya, dobro pozhalovat. These are the words which have followed us in the last month and which will follow us in the next four years.

It is so important that we can be here together today in this iconic place, in the Kremlin, to mark a pass of the ball from the organiser of 2018 to the organiser of the 2022 World Cup.

This is football: it is passion, it is emotion, it is love, it is family, it is unity, and these sentiments that we have been feeling here in Russia, we transfer them to Qatar.

And I am sure that the same incredibly energetic and positive impact that football has had in Russia, it will have the same in Qatar four years from now.

So, as far as I am concerned, I can say that we all fell in love with Russia.

(In Russian.) Ya lyublyu Rossiyu. And I am sure that in four years from now, Your Highness, we will all fall in love with Qatar. As far as I am concerned, it has already happened, but we will bring the others on board.

(In Russian.) Spasibo bolshoye.

Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (retranslated): Mr President, first, let me congratulate you and the Russian people on organising a wonderful World Cup.

Mr President, I would like to congratulate you personally on behalf of all football and sports fans on the success and the wonderful World Cup, and we hope to host the tournament in the same way in our country.

I would like to express gratitude to our friends from the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee, who are providing assistance to their colleagues from the Qatar 2022 organising committee. We hope to continue this cooperation with our Russian friends on the issues related to hosting the 2022 World Cup.

I would like to congratulate Mr Infantino and thank him for the efforts taken for the success of the World Cup, and express hope for cooperation until 2022.

Mr President, hosting the 2022 World Cup in our country is an important event. I can remember how our country won the bid back in 2010. It is a great festival for all Arab people. Thank you.

I would like to invite all our friends. We will make every effort to welcome all guests in our country. We hope our national team will duplicate the success of the Russian team and even surpass it. We will do our best.

(In Russian.) Thank you.

July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow