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Fifa World Cup: Putin welcomes fans to Russia, promises thrilling tourney

He promised "a real celebration - filled with sporting passion and strong emotions."

AP | PTI  |  Moscow 

Your Fan ID is visa-free ticket to Russia and FIFA World Cup 2018 matches

is welcoming soccer teams and fans to for the World Cup, saying the tournament will be thrilling and memorable.

"For our country, it's a great joy and honour to receive representatives from the massive footballing family," said in a video statement released today.

He promised "a real celebration - filled with sporting passion and strong emotions."

added "I hope that you will have lasting memories, not only of the matches of the best teams and the skills of the players, but also of your acquaintance with - its distinctive culture, unique history and rich character and her hospitable, sincere and friendly people."

He concluded in English, saying "Welcome to

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 20:33 IST