Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, in the presence of world football organisation FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter, handed over the World Cup to her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as Russia are set to host the next edition in 2018.
The ceremony took place at Maracana Stadium before the Germany-Argentina final, reports RT TV.
"I want to congratulate President Rousseff on how the World Cup was organised. We will do all we can to organize the event on the highest level,” Putin was quoted as saying by FIFA.com.
“Football helps to solve social problems. Our task is to create the best possible conditions for the coaches, players, experts and fans. I am grateful to President Blatter and his colleagues from FIFA for the honour to organize the World Cup,” Putin added.
Blatter, in a symbolic gesture, presented a signed certificate to Putin marking the handover. Both Rousseff and Putin were also presented with official match balls by FIFA.
"Brazil is very proud for once again having staged the biggest football celebration in the world. In the last 30 days, the world has been connected to Brazil, celebrating goals with a lot of emotion in the 12 host cities and making this the World Cup of World Cups,” Rousseff said.
She also invited the world to attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which Rio de Janeiro will host in 2016.
After the handover, Blatter spoke about FIFA’s message. “FIFA’s World Cup in Brazil had a very special message to give - a message of togetherness and of connecting people, a message of peace and of anti-discrimination,” he said.
“We have enjoyed a successful World Cup and we will have a legacy in this country. At the same time, there is a responsibility for the next host country and I’m confident that Russia will take on this responsibility and also give us a wonderful World Cup to remember in 2018,” he added.