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Sport Russia awash with colour ahead of World Cup spectacle

17:07  14 june  2018
17:07  14 june  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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The World Cup opening ceremony launches the competition at the Luzhinki Stadium in Russia . The World Cup opening ceremony was awash with colour , dancing, singing and most importantly, excitement. Saudi Arabia fans looked in good spirits ahead of the opening ceremony as they awaited their The lights, the colour , the spectacle it was the perfect way to showcase this summer's

It’s one of the biggest showpieces in world sport, and for the next month, Russia has rolled out the welcome mat.

Right now, Moscow is awash with colour. On the fringe of the city’s famous Red Square rival fans engage in, mostly, friendly banter and chants. There’s dancing, singing and lots of selfies.

a group of people posing for the camera: Russia is ready for one of the biggest showpieces in world sport - the FIFA World Cup. Picture: AAP. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Russia is ready for one of the biggest showpieces in world sport - the FIFA World Cup. Picture: AAP. The World Cup is, however, being played against a backdrop of political sensitivities and controversies.

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Australia has already made its point. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was adamant there’d be no official delegation at tonight’s opening ceremony.

But it hasn’t stopped a flood of Australians, about 5000 in all, from making the long trek.

Our Socceroos will occupy much of their focus - the Aussies kick off their campaign this Saturday night against football giant France, but many have come here just to feel part of the festival.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Among the dancing, colour, chants and banter are football fans ready to support their country. Picture: AAP. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Among the dancing, colour, chants and banter are football fans ready to support their country. Picture: AAP.

Visits to Russia are expected to top almost 1.5 million, and the Russians are ready to put on a show.

Although, an Englishman will be given the honour of opening proceedings.

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Robbie Williams - the king of big stadium performances - will be in his element as 80,000 people celebrate the start of the tournament, not to mention a global audience in the hundreds of millions.

a group of football players posing for a photo: Around 5000 Australians have also travelled to the country to watch the Socceroos in the tournament. Picture: AAP. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Around 5000 Australians have also travelled to the country to watch the Socceroos in the tournament. Picture: AAP.

But what then of the locals? What do they think of the event? One Vladamir Putin and his government have poured some $13 billion into making a success.

They certainly wouldn’t approve of the dramatic increase in traffic. The roads are mostly clogged in the inner-city.

a group of people playing football on a field: Australia's national team kick off their competition against France on Saturday night. Picture: AAP. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Australia's national team kick off their competition against France on Saturday night. Picture: AAP.

Business is booming though - restaurants are full, so too the bars, and the city has a festival feel about it.

Russians want nothing more than to make sure this World Cup is a massive hit. Especially Putin, who’ll surely be trying his hardest for no own goals.

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