Montevideo, Apr 24 (EFE).- The Uruguayan national team participating in the 2018 World Cup will take pieces of turf from this capital’s legendary Centenario stadium – which hosted the first World Cup in 1930 – to Russia in June.
“I believe it is very meaningful for it to travel (with us) to Russia,” Uruguayan Soccer Association (AUF) president Wilmar Valdez said during Tuesday’s ceremony.
The Bering-Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas, a Russian NGO, proposed the idea, which was carried out jointly with the AUF and the relevant authorities in Uruguay.
“The sections of turf from the Centenario (stadium) will be present in all the matches in which Uruguay is set to play in Russia” during this summer’s World Cup tourney, said Valdez.
The goal, according to organizers, is to “tighten the bonds between Russia and Uruguay,” as a way of contributing to the promotion of the joint bid by Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay to host the 2030 World Cup.
Russia’s ambassador in Uruguay, Nikolay Sofinskiy, told reporters that “the whole world” knows what the Centenario stadium means to world soccer, adding that taking the turf to Russia is a “very symbolic act” representing the bond between the present and the historic events surrounding the sport.