Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally passed the torch to Qatar for the World Cup in 2022.
Ahead of the final in Moscow between France and Croatia, Putin has met at the Kremlin with Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Putin says Russia’s World Cup has been a success and “I am sure that our friend from Qatar will succeed at holding the FIFA 2022 World Cup at the same highest level.”
Putin ceremonially handed a football to the emir to mark the transfer to Qatar, which will be the first Arab country to host the tournament.
The emir says through a translator that the World Cup “will be a huge and great festival for all our country.”
France or Croatia?
One of those two teams will become World Cup champion later Sunday.
The French, who won their only World Cup title at home in 1998, will be playing in their third final in 20 years. The Croats have the chance to win the biggest prize in soccer for the first time.
The match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow caps a month-long tournament that started with 32 teams playing in 12 stadiums around Russia.