11:01 Oct. 22, 2016
The wolf received 53% of votes in online poll
Russia has unveiled its mascot for the World Cup football championship, that is scheduled to take place in 2018.
Zabivaka the wolf received 53 percent of the one million votes in a FIFA poll, securing the victory against a tiger that got 27% and cat, 20%.
The wolf's name could be translated to English as ‘the one who scores', although a certain parallel could be drawn with another Russian word ‘Zabiyaka', which means squabbler or bantam.
The talisman was developed by student Ekaterina Bocharova, who said she was sure the wolf ‘will be a massive hit among the fans'.
Zabivaka is described as ‘confident and social', who has always ‘dreamt of becoming a football star'.
‘To get to the stage of seeing the wolf chosen today, we first collected the preferences of Russian kids through an online poll. Based on those ideas, university students submitted their designs and now the public have chosen their favourite character from among the final three', FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura said.
Former Brazil football star Ronaldo was seen pictured with the wolf during the ceremony in Moscow.
‘Mascots are great ambassadors for promoting the event and bring so much joy to the stadiums', Ronaldo said, adding that the wolf will ‘surely be remembered for a very long time'.
Based on reporting by The Guardian