Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Cosmonauts Unveil 2018 World Cup Logo

The official logo of the 2018 World Cup was unveiled by Russian cosmonauts.

The official logo of the 2018 World Cup was unveiled Tuesday night by Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station, before being projected onto the ivory facade of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater.

The logo, which FIFA president Sepp Blatter described as an embodiment of Russia's "heart and spirit," depicts a red and blue World Cup trophy with gold trim. The trophy — its cup festooned with stars, its base shrouded in flames — is reminiscent of a satellite launch.

The tournament's organizing committee explained in a statement that the emblem was meant to reflect the Soviet Union's pioneering space exploration, traditional Russian iconography and the universal love of football. The logo, which features what FIFA called a "magic ball," pays homage to Sputnik-1, the first artificial satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

The stars are meant to depict "football stars as well as stars in the sky, along with the fairy-tale glitter and sparkle that creates a magical … World Cup experience," according to FIFA.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the design — which was conceived by a Portuguese brand consultancy with the input of Russian and international designers — stemmed from Russia's "rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation."

The logo presentation was broadcast across the country via Channel One's most popular evening talk show, "Vecherny Urgant." Host Ivan Urgant welcomed Blatter, Mutko and former Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro — who in 2006 was a World Cup champion and FIFA's player of the year — in the studio to discuss the emblem and Russia's preparations for the 2018 tournament. Nearly a million Muscovites watched the presentation, according to R-Sport, an online Russian sports news site.

Just after midnight, Cannavaro told journalists gathered in front of the Bolshoi Theater that he was pleased with the logo, which he described as "colorful, bright and memorable."

Not all observers were so thrilled. Grant Wahl, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and former FIFA presidential hopeful, tweeted: "Russia tooting its own horn by putting Sputnik in the World Cup logo is about as sad as a town with a big '1956 State Champions' sign."

Russia is set to host the World Cup in 2018 from June 8 to July 8, in 11 cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.

Contact the author at g.tetraultfarber@imedia.ru

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more