2018 FIFA World Cup official match ball

Russian Delegation Gifts Syrian President’s Children 2018 FIFA Official Ball

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DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - A Russian delegation to Syria has gifted a 2018 FIFA World Cup official match ball to President Bashar Assad’s children in the run-up to the major sports event due to kick off next week, the coordinator of the Russian State Duma's group on relations with the Syrian parliament, Dmitry Sablin, told Sputnik on Sunday.

The Russian delegation led by Sablin arrived in Syria for an official visit on Wednesday. The talks with Syrian counterparts focus on cross-region economic cooperation and humanitarian issues. Syrian First Lady Asma Assad, known for her humanitarian activities and support for the families who lost their relatives in the war, also attended the meeting to welcome the delegation, according to Sablin.

READ MORE: Russian Team Training at Full Strength Ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup

"Assad said that he had given an interview to one of UK newspapers today. Since the World Cup has been around the corner, he was [also] asked about his favorite team. He answered that the team which he was rooting for was the Syrian Arab Army, which was fighting terrorists," the Russian lawmaker added.

Since September 2015, Russia has been conducting an anti-terror campaign in Syria, a nation that has been engulfed in a civil war for over six years. The mission is being carried out at the request of the Syrian president.

From June 14 to July 15, Russia will host the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history, with the matches set to be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Volgograd, and Samara.


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