The campaign to recruit volunteers for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ has proved to be one of the biggest in the history of the volunteer movement, breaking the World Cup record for the number of applications.

In the period from 1 June 2016, when President of Russia Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino jointly launched the volunteer campaign, to the end of the application period on 30 December, around 177,000 people expressed an interest in becoming volunteers for the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC). This exceeds the previous record by almost 25,000 applications, set four years ago when 152,101 applications were received for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

There was significant interest in the Russia 2018 Volunteer Programme from abroad; more than a quarter of all candidates (27 per cent) sent in their applications from 190 different countries outside Russia.

“When I learned that the recruitment of volunteers for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia had started, I immediately realised that I must apply,” said Brunel Muba from Belgium. “I’ve been already lucky enough to be a volunteer at the FIFA Confederations Cup Draw in Kazan last year and to see and to discover that beautiful city. I liked it there a lot. So I really want to make it back to Russia in 2017 and 2018. The main goal for me is to take part in these awesome events and become a part of history”.

In the two major upcoming football tournaments, more than 5,500 volunteers will be involved in the Confederations Cup and over 15,000 will help out at the World Cup.

“Immediately after the campaign got underway, we saw how much interest there was in the Volunteer Programme for the Confederations Cup and World Cup,” explained Vitaly Mutko, LOC Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. "Now our aim is to select and train the volunteers and give them everything they need to help create an unparalleled and unique festive atmosphere at the tournaments, which are coming up fast.”

During the recruitment stage, prospective volunteers had to enter their details into an online form and indicate in which functional area they would like to help organisers. There are 20 different areas and the most popular were team services, ceremonies operations, spectator services, linguistic support and media operations.

Some applicants have already been interviewed at the 15 LOC Volunteer Centres working in all 11 Russia 2018 Host Cities. The next stages involve selecting and training the volunteers. The selection of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 volunteers ends in the first quarter of 2017 and their training will start in the second quarter of 2017.

The volunteers will get down to business before the tournaments begin to ensure everything is ready before the first guests arrive: their start date for the Confederations Cup is May 2017, while World Cup volunteers will begin in May 2018.