A wolf named Zabivaka has been named the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
There could have been no better choice as the wolf’s name means “the one who scores” in Russian.
The wolf who radiates fun, charm and confidence was chosen by the Russian public in an online poll concluded 21 October.
Developed by student designer Ekaterina Bocharova, the wolf received 53 per cent of the votes, followed by the tiger (27 per cent) and the cat (20 per cent), FIFA.com reported.
More than one million votes were cast on FIFA.com and through a live show on Russia’s Channel 1 during the month-long voting period, concluding the most engaging creative process for an Official Mascot in FIFA World Cup history.
“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,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
“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.”
“I am sure Zabivaka will be a massive hit among fans at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™,” added the Local Organising Committee Chairman Vitaly Mutko, who attended the live TV show that crowned the wolf.
“However, his role goes far beyond simply being popular among spectators. Our Mascot is tasked with inspiring supporters, getting the wider population involved in football and inviting them to the stadiums in order to experience memorable and positive emotions.
Millions of Russian football fans took part in the vote and this means Zabivaka will do a worthy job representing our country around the world.”
*Originally reported by FIFA.com