Tiger, wolf and cat shortlisted to be Russia 2018 mascot

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Baku, February 12 AZERTAC

The campaign to select the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ has taken another step forward, with three shortlisted designs now being prepared for the public vote that will take place across Russia in Autumn 2016, according to the official website of FIFA.

A tiger, wolf and cat have emerged as the finalists, with each character brought to life thanks to the efforts of three Russian student designers. Each of the designers, all from Russian art universities, today attended an award ceremony in Moscow to celebrate the selection of their characters to advance to the third and final stage of the campaign.

Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Alexey Sorokin was present at the ceremony to reward the shortlisted students and mark the end of the second stage of the mascot-development campaign. Sorokin revealed how inspired he was by their creativity and desire to be part of the World Cup in Russia.

The three young women arrived at the award ceremony in Moscow from across the country. Ekaterina Bocharova had the longest journey to the capital, coming from the Department of Graphic Design at Tomsk State University in Siberia. Ekaterina opted to draw a wolf, inspired by Russian cartoons and her dog, named Tyson.

Valeria Taburenko, from the Saint Petersburg State University of Technology and Design, chose to depict a tiger. Valeria loves animated cartoons and has watched all the best films from well-known international and Russian studios.

Sofia Podlesnykh, meanwhile, was representing Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University at the award ceremony with her design of a cat. Once she found out that the LOC and FIFA were opening up the competition to university students, Sofia immediately sent in her application.

Immediately before the ceremony, held in the Russian Ministry of Sport, the students attended a special seminar on designing the mascot. FIFA and LOC design experts also attended the seminar, along with representatives from the design agency tasked with finalising the three characters and ensuring they are aligned with all requirements. Now fans across the country need to patiently wait for these adjustments to be completed. The characters designs will be unveiled to the public and put to a nationwide vote in Autumn 2016 to choose the Official Mascot for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

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