About 800 people are involved in the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony, which will take place in Moscow on Thursday, the director of the ceremony, Felix Mikhailov, said on Wednesday.
"We are working in a format that is new for world tournaments. Instead of holding the ceremony an hour before the opening game of the tournament, it will be held just before the start of the game, so we set the stage for the match. This will allow more viewers to see it [the opening ceremony]. About 800 people are involved in the ceremony," Mikhailov said.
The World Cup kicks off in Moscow on Thursday, with UK pop star Robbie Williams and Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina set to perform at the opening ceremony held before the first match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The World Cup will be held in 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15.