Nearly two weeks into the World Cup, thousands of fans have been fired up for the Games in Russia.
Among them are dozens from China who are playing a big role.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more.
There are the teams and the fans.
But one group on the sidelines is very much part of the game.
Chen Qiming is one of about 15,000 international volunteers at this year’s World Cup. She made the trip from China, bringing plenty of football fever along.
“I’m fortunate enough to become a volunteer here at the Stadium,” said Chen Qiming, a volunteer from China. “It’s a great honor for me. I would like to do my part to help fans from around the world feel comfortable while watching the games.”
Though China failed to qualify for the World Cup, Chinese fans are still feeling the spirit.
It’s estimated nearly 100,000 of them are visiting Russia during the Games.
“We can see some of them quite often here,” said Ruan Jiayang, another volunteer from China. “They are all very happy to find out that I can speak Chinese. They may feel no language obstacles when asking for help.”
Help in all sorts of ways, like leading Chinese fans in the right direction and buying tickets.
They’re also guiding Chinese journalists.
“We provide services to media crew from all over the world,” said Xu Haoran, another volunteer from China. “I spend most of the time working in the inquiry office of the media and broadcast center. Every day, journalists from China or who speak Chinese come and ask for help, and then I can use my Chinese to help them.”
More than 50 Chinese volunteers are helping out, some with language skills beyond Chinese.
“It’s very cool when volunteers, Chinese citizens who live in Russia know the Russian language,” said Tatyana Komzyakova, Director of the Volunteer Department of World Cup 2018. “It is a big help for us from the aspect of language support, because we have many users from Chna and having volunteers who know the Chinese language is fantastic.
Proving that putting on a football event of this scale is truly a team effort.