β€œThe visitors of the [World Cup] host cities... including foreigners, will be able to pick their new friend from a local [dog] shelter via befriendrussia.com website,” the organizers said.

They added that the NIKA Foundation -Β  a non-profit animal rescue group - will be taking care of processing all the necessary paperwork and permits for the animals.

A number of US athletes adopted pets during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy brought a family of stray dogs back home to the United States, his gesture drawing praise from former US president Barack Obama.

Russia's first-ever FIFA World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 arenas in 11 cities across the country. Teams will play in Moscow, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.