The next soccer World Cup is just nine months away and to help promote it hosts Russia are taking the famous gold trophy on tour. On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin was on hand for the start in Moscow.
The head of the organizing committee for next year's World Cup in Russia has hit back at allegations of state-sponsored doping in the country. Vitaly Mutko's comments came just days before a key IOC meeting.
The majority of tickets have been sold to Russians but international buyers account for 47 percent. With the draw taking place on Friday, Russia and FIFA have been eager to play down fears over racism and doping.
Ahead of hosting the World Cup, excitement among football fans in Russia is growing with all eyes on Friday's draw. Moscow has been spruced up for the draw and next year's tournament.
No African soccer team has ever reached the World Cup semi-finals. For the 2018 tournament in Russia, five strong teams could change that. But it's not going to be an easy feat.
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