Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, wrote to the Local Organising Committee of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia to congratulate them on the preparation for the tournament which kicks off in Moscow today.
In a letter to the LOC Chief Executive Alexey Sorokin, the AFC President said: “It is my honour to extend on behalf of the whole Asian football family our best wishes for a very memorable and successful World Cup. I am confident that the 2018 FIFA World Cup will have unrivalled success and will thrill and excite football fans around the globe.
“I wish the Russian Football Union and the Local Organising Committee best of luck.”
The FIFA World Cup 2018 will involve a record number of teams from Asia - five in all - with Saudi Arabia becoming the first ever Asian team to play in a World Cup opening match when they take on Russia in Moscow tonight.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, Asia will be represented by Australia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are both in action tomorrow, and Japan and Korea Republic. A record number of Asian match officials have also been selected for the tournament.
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