Alien and cat compete to be 2018 World Cup mascot

World Cup 2018 will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities. Source: Alexandr Wilf / RIA Novosti

World Cup 2018 will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities. Source: Alexandr Wilf / RIA Novosti

Russians have determined the top 10 characters that will compete to be the Official Mascot for the 2018 World Cup, which will take place in Russia.

A total of 51,000 fans took part in an online poll on the website of FIFA held from May 1-31, the organization's website reported.

The most popular characters are an Amur tiger, a medieval Russian warrior, a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, an astronaut, a cat, a bear and a robot. Design students at Russian art institutes are encouraged to offer their mascot designs for the competition, to be held between September and November 2015. A jury will determine the three best works, with one of them to be chosen as the official mascot.

“For all FIFA World Cup fans the mascot will encapsulate our country,” Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of Sports for Russia said. “It should be one of the tournament's most colorful and recognizable characters. So it is really important to engage and involve Russians as much as possible in its design. As far I can tell, at this stage we’ve achieved that.”

The mascot should be “sporty,” according to 32 percent of the survey participants, while 31 percent want it to be “competitive,” 29 percent want it to represent a “team player,” 26 percent preferred “smart” and 23 percent would favor a mascot that is “honorable.”

“It is important for FIFA to know what the Russian public’s preferences are for the character of the mascot,” said FIFA’s Marketing Director, Thierry Weil. “After all, the Official Mascot will play a key role in building excitement around the tournament and needs to connect with both local and international fans.”

The launch ceremony for the Official Mascot will be held in 2016.

The most popular characters are an Amur tiger, a medieval Russian warrior, a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, an astronaut, a cat, a bear and a robot. Source: Youtube

World Cup 2018 will be held from June 14 to July 15, 2018 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.

First published in Russian on RBC.RU

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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