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MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. Exact dates of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by Russia, will be announced by the end of the year or at the beginning of next year, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said on Tuesday.
According to the high-ranking football official, FIFA had been in the final stage of completing the schedule of matches of the 2018 World Cup and was expected to settle the issue in the coming weeks.
Valcke said the dates for the matches could be possibly set in November during a joint session of FIFA and 2018 Russia organizing committee to be held in the Russian resort city of Sochi. At the latest, he said, the dates would be announced at the very beginning of the next year.
An issue of separating Russian and Ukrainian national football teams into different groups of the final stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup is premature as the qualifiers for the global championship has not even started yet, he said.
According to Valcke, it was reasonable to wait for the results of the qualifiers for the world championship, which will be hosted by Russia in less than four years, as he was not sure that Ukraine would pass the qualifying stage.
FIFA will be dealing with all such issues as they come up, the secretary general of the world’s football governing body said.
Only 10% of Russia’s total budget for the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be allocated solely for the construction of the football infrastructure, including stadiums, FIFA Secretary General said.
A lion’s share of budget funds, Valcke said, would be spend on the development of the cities, which were selected to hold the matches of the world football championship, and it includes the transportation system, housing, etc. On the whole, it would be spent on everything, which would remain in the country and become the heritage of the championship, he added.
According to Valcke, only 10% of the total budget will be channeled solely for the development of football infrastructure and that it is why it is not exactly correct to say that enormous sums of money are being spent on just a one month event to the detriment of the health and education systems’ development.
Valcke is currently in Moscow to take part in a session of the Local Organizing Committee, which will be also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to take part in the ceremony of unveiling Russia’s official emblem for the 2018 World Cup.
The official emblem of the 2018 World Cup will be unveiled late on Tuesday night in the Russian capital during the Evening Urgant television talk show by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Valcke, jointly with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and Fabio Cannavaro, captain of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning side. The ceremony is scheduled to kick off at 11:30 p.m. Moscow time (20:30 GMT).
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.
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.