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2018 football World Cup mascot to be decided on Friday

Moscow, Oct 20 (IANS) Voting to select the official mascot for the 2018 World Cup, to be hosted by Russia, has entered its final one-day stretch and the winner will be officially revealed on Friday, world football governing body FIFA has announced.

The third and final stage of selecting the official mascot of the global football tournament in Russia will be held on Friday, reports Efe.

The second stage left three finalists - a cat, a tiger and a wolf - unveiled in Moscow on September 23 during the "Circle of Light" international festival.

"On Friday, the three contenders will take center stage in a live TV broadcast in Russia, when fans will again be able to vote for their favourite character in what promises to be an exciting ending to the race on Channel 1's specially created TV show," according to the FIFA statement on Wednesday.

The mascot selection process has been divided into three stages, which occupied an 18-month period.

The first stage was held on the talisman.fifa.com website between April and July last year.

Anyone was able leave ideas on the website for a new mascot, which could be an animate or inanimate one, a mascot name and legend.

Fans could have also voted for any of the proposed alternatives and the target audience of the first stage was made up of football fans between the age of 8 to 16 years.

The voting after the first stage finalised 10 choices for mascots -- an Amur Tiger, Bogatyr (a legendary medieval Russian figure), a wolf, a Far Eastern leopard, a firebird, an alien, a cosmonaut, a cat, a bear and a robot.

--IANS

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