At their headquarters in New York, members of the United Nations Security Council have slipped out of their formal dress to welcome the start of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, wearing the jerseys of their national teams.
Cheerful and relaxed, Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, welcomed his colleagues wearing a red jersey, with 'Vassily' written on the back. Kicking a ball around, the diplomats showcased their dribbling skills in front of the camera. The US envoy 'Nikki', who received cheers from the mostly male crowd, sported a white striped jersey of her national soccer team, which, unfortunately, had not qualified for the football tournament.
Secretary-General António Guterres, or simply 'António' for the day, wearing a referee’s t-shirt, welcomed the 15 members to the holiest of holy venues, the chamber of the UN Security Council.
After posing for a photo shoot, members of the council proceeded to watch the opening match that was played between Russia and Saudi Arabia in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Just prior to the kickoff, Nebenzia ignited the spirit of the competition with a fiery speech.
Throughout the match, 'Vassily,' slipping outside the boundaries of the usual diplomatic protocol, could not help his excitement to cheer for Team Russia, which secured an impressive 5-0 win against the Saudis at the inaugural clash at the world’s top football tournament.