MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Tuesday for the first time participate in the session of a supervisory board of the 2018 FIFA World Cup organizing committee with less than four year before the global football tournament comes to Russia, the Kremlin said on Monday.
“The main issue in the focus of the session is the preparation for the 2018 World Cup,” the Kremlin said. “It will be the first session of the supervisory board with the participation of the Russian president.”
Taking part in the session will be also federal ministers, the administration of the Russian Football Union (RFU), businessmen as well as heads of the regions, where matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held.
The Russian president is also expected to visit on Tuesday Moscow’s old Luzhniki-Arena, which is currently under reconstruction and is intended, according to the organizers, to host the final match of the 2018 World Cup. Reconstruction works at the Luzhniki Arena were launched in the fall of 2013 and after the works are completed the stadium will boost the spectators capacity of 81,000 seats.
A joint delegation of FIFA representatives and Russia’s Local Organizing Committee inspected on October 16-23 the construction and the state of readiness of Russian stadiums, which were selected to host the World Cup matches in 2018.
The delegation began its visit to Russia with the inspection of the currently under-construction stadium in St. Petersburg, moving afterwards to Kazan on the Volga River to see the Kazan-Arena, then to Sochi to evaluate the Fisht Stadium and last week visiting the Otkritie-Arena and Luzhniki Arena in Moscow respectively.
Between October 21 and 23 the delegation was presented with virtual tours across the remaining Russian stadiums, selected to host the championship’s matches. This was the first large-scale visit of FIFA evaluation commission to inspect the readiness of the Russian cities for the 2018 World Cup and there were planned seven more similar inspections before the launch of the world championship.
Christian Unger, the head of FIFA 2018 football championship preparation department, said following the delegation’s visit that he was satisfied with Russia’s preparations for the world championship.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup less than four 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.
In 2012 Russia announced the total allocated budget of 664.1 billion rubles for the organization of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in August that the number of 12 stadiums in a total of 11 cities selected to host the World Cup would not be changed. The Russian president said, however, that in terms of financial spending on the World Cup preparations for Russia would be an “uneasy story,” but manageable.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.