Eighteen children from Ural Youth Athletic Center carried FIFA flags during the opening of 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, the center's Director Oleg Kokarev told reporters at the City Press Center.
He went on to say that the 2018 FIFA World Cup was sure to serve as a major impetus for the development of football throughout Russia.
"With 793 children our athletic center is operating at full capacity, so we cannot accept more people, but I'm sure that the 2018 FIFA World Cup legacy will help overcome this challenge," Kokarev pointed out.
Also taking part in the news conference was Andrei Danilov, head coach of Ural-2 football team, who said that the number of youngsters enrolling in athletic centers and schools surged after Russia won the right to host the World Cup.
"The World Cup helped promote football in Russia, first in terms of numbers, which would lead to higher standards," he noted.
According to the coach, the World Cup also served as an incentive for players and young people to be more dedicated and zealous during practice, seeing their favorite players fighting for every inch on the pitch.