"In my opinion, equality is the key to success in every kind of activity. When I talk to former players and fans, they are all absolutely ecstatic about the organization and the atmosphere [at the World Cup]. I knew there would be many questions ahead of the tournament regarding discrimination, but we proved we can hold such competitions at the highest possible level," Smertin said.

He added that his son had been working at the World Cup for a month as a volunteer at the Luzhniki Stadium.