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MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) intends to focus on preparations for the 2018 World Cup in order to make it Russia's best sports event ever, a senior FIFA official said on Wednesday.
Christian Unger, the head of FIFA 2018 football championship preparation department, praised Russia's efforts to organize the tournament that will be held at 12 stadiums located in the 11 cities across Russia — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
A joint delegation of FIFA representatives and Russia’s Local Organizing Committee are inspecting on October 16-23 the construction and the state of readiness of these stadiums.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who met with the FIFA delegation earlier on Wednesday said that preparations for the World Cup "have gained momentum but it does not mean that there are no problems at all." He added that he was convinced the tournament will be a success.
"I can guarantee that everyone will be pleased, there will be no problems with racism and no one's rights will be violated," the minister said.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over three years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.