Yana Churikova, Nikolai Drozdov and Sergey Belogolovtsev, major Russian TV personalities, have joined the team of Ambassadors for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ after receiving their certificates from Alexey Sorokin, Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee CEO. The appointment ceremony was held at the LOC offices on Wednesday 19 October.

Russia 2018 Ambassadors not only tell the world about the host country for the upcoming tournament but also represent all of Russian football and participate in official FIFA and LOC events.

“It is a great honour to become a World Cup Ambassador in my country - this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Churikova. “It's a big fest, which hundreds of thousands of fans will join from all over the world. We have an experience of organizing global-scale events, and now it's also a chance to show the world all the colours of Russia, while the competition will be on in different cities. Moreover, I want this World Cup to be also a sport fest in the peaceful world. Let's all go and watch football!”

“Football has a special place in my heart and has been the centre of my life. Spartak Moscow, the Russian national team… Supporting them is a nerve-wracking and character-building experience,” said Belogolovtsev. “Like any true football fan, I’m delighted our country is hosting the World Cup. It’s exciting and I’m extremely hopeful. It’s a great honour and privilege to serve as an Ambassador for this celebration of football. I will do everything I can to make sure the World Cup becomes the best memory of 2018 for our country.”

“I invite every single person around the world, young and old, to come to Russia. I’m confident that we can do the hugely important job of helping our country organise the best World Cup in history,” said Drozdov.

Yana Churikova is one of the best-known presenters in Russia. She rose to fame through her work on the Fabrika Zvyozd (Star Factory) TV show on Channel One. Yana has directed numerous programmes and was the Creative Director of the Performance, Film and Television Studio School. In 2013, Yana headed MTV Russia and was later appointed as Viacom’s Youth and Music Channel Director in 2014. Yana supports CSKA Moscow and the Russian national team.

Sergey Belogolovtsev is a well-known TV and radio host, showman, actor, director and former KVN participant. After gaining fame thanks to the O.S.P. Studio and Nazlo Rekordam! (Breaking Records) TV projects, Sergey and his wife Natalia founded the Lyzhi Mechty (Ski Dreams) non-profit organisation in 2014, which runs skiing classes for children with cerebral palsy. Sergey is an ardent supporter of Spartak Moscow.

Nikolai Drozdov is a Russian public figure, popular TV and radio host and zoologist, who has presented the V Mire Zhivotnikh (Animal World) programme since 1975, making him one of Russia’s household names. Aged 79, Nikolai actively practices yoga.

The new Ambassadors for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ join the existing team of Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, former footballer Alexey Smertin, renowned pianist and People’s Artist of Russia Denis Matsuev and Nikita Simonyan, Vice President of the Russian Football Union and grandee of Russian football, who captained the Soviet national team at its first FIFA World Cup in 1958.