Putin said at a meeting of the supervisory board of the Russia-2018 Organizing Committee that it is important to control all stages of preparatory work. For such monitoring, there is a proposal to create a special information portal similar to one that gained a good reputation in the Olympic Sochi.
He recalled Russia’s experience of holding large-scale sports events - the Winter Olympic Games in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in February 2014, the Summer Universiade in Kazan in 2013 and a number of global and continental championships.
“All useful groundwork, ideas, best practices should be used in full during preparation for the 2018 World Cup. This concerns logistics, involvement of volunteers, ticket programs, reception of athletes and guests,” the president said.
He said over $15.6 billion, half of which is federal budget funds, will be allocated to implementation of the program to prepare for and hold the World Cup designed for 2013-2018.First and foremost, the subsidies will be sent to development of the transport, energy and information infrastructure, as well as modernization of healthcare facilities.
Putin said the volume of preparatory work for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is similar to that for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and the viewership is equal to that of the Winter Olympic Games.
“As you know, the FIFA’s inspection group has worked in Russia for the entire past week. It came to our country for the first time, and the program was rather varied. Our colleagues assessed the opportunities of the existing sports arenas, got familiarized with the course of design and construction of new stadiums,” he said.
Besides, the FIFA inspection group, in his words, discussed a wide range of issues with representatives of organizing cities and expressed their comments and proposals.
The Russian president said he, jointly with Sepp Blatter, the president of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), visited Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium that will become the key arena of the World Cup.
“A large-scale project to rebuild the arena is being implemented in line with the plan. Work should also be conducted dynamically at other facilities, which are to host the championship’s matches and provide all required infrastructure and conditions for trainings of national teams,” Putin said.
“We will have to receive 32 teams and each will be able to choose one of two bases. In essence, it can be said today with certainty that the World Cup, to some extent, covers up to 80% of the population residing in the European part of the Russian Federation,” Mutko said.
In his words, the key events of the FIFA World Cup will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg. He also recalled that a year before the championship, Russia will host “a test tournament” - the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Its matches will be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan.
“It’s necessary to note that all these cities should be fully ready in May 2016. We have no doubts that we will cope with the task,” Mutko said.