St PETERSBURG, January 16. /TASS/. FIFA is rendering full-scale support to the World Cup 2018 championship in Russia, the organization's President, Joseph Blatter said on Friday.
He came to St Petersburg to attend the opening ceremony of the championship known as the Commonwealth Cup.
Blatter said he was in Moscow in 1993 when games of the first Commonwealth Cup were played and he watched the competitions at stadiums then.
Taking part in this tournament are clubs from three continents, and thus football unites and brings people together, he said.
Blatter said he had spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin and had mentioned in the conversation the FIFA all-out support to the plans to organize the championship in Russia.
World Cup 2018 will be a crucial event for 209 national football federations, and all of them will take part in the drawing procedure in St Petersburg on July 25.
Football gives emotions to the whole world, in all countries, event in the ones where armed fighting is underway, like in Palestine, Blatter said.
Football has never turned into an apple of discord because it inspires people with hope and it has a potential to improve this world in a definite way, he said.
Qualification games start off in South America and Africa already this autumn. Their kickoff in Europe has been scheduled for autumn 2016.
World Cup 2018 games will be held from June 14 through to July 15 at twelve stadiums in eleven Russian cities Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, and Rostov-on-Don.