Zabivaka: Russia chooses wolf as 2018 Fifa World Cup mascot

Russia has chosen a wolf, named “Zabivaka”, as the mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Zabivaka, which in Russian means “one who scores”, designed by student Ekaterina Bocharova.

A public voting was launched on September 23 on FIFA’s official website and social networks on Thursday. Fans were asked to choose between a wolf, a cat and a tiger in a cosmonaut suit in the online poll, which attracted 1 million votes according to FIFA. On Friday, people could also cast their votes for a mascot on the Channel One’s official website, reports Tass.

The public voting was announced live in the “Vecherny Urgant” TV programme on Channel One on Saturday.

The wolf stormed to victory with 53 per cent of the one million strong Russian public vote ahead of a tiger (27 per cent) and Cat (20 per cent), before being congratulated by Brazilian World Cup legend Ronaldo.

Local Organizing Committee Chairman Vitaly Mutko, who attended the live broadcast that crowned the wolf the victor, emphasised the key role of a mascot.

‘I am sure Zabivaka will be a massive hit among fans at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. However, his role goes far beyond simply being popular among spectators,’ Mutko told

Sharing the process of choosing the Mascot, FIFA secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “To get to the stage of seeing the wolf chosen today, we first collected the preferences of Russian kids through an online poll. Based on those ideas, university students submitted their designs and now the public have chosen their favourite character from among the final three. Eighteen months after kicking-off this project, we are extremely happy that the 2018 mascot is the result of a team effort where the Russian people demonstrated their creative flair and their strong commitment to putting on a successful FIFA World Cup.”


The author Charitz

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