MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Russia plans to increase the number of training sites across the country for participants of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by adding training camps in a number of cities, including in Grozny, Voronezh and Yaroslavl, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Friday.
The Russian organizing committee of the 2018 World cup held a meeting on Friday to discuss the preparations for the global football championship.
"A number of reports were delivered on the preparation of training sites for the championship," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "As of now 35 contracts have been signed for planned 64 training sites. We shall finalize the list of training sites by July."
"The geography of the training sites will be expanded and they will be located not only in the European part of Russia," he said. "Our project envisages training sites in Voronezh, Yaroslavl, Chelyabinsk, Lipetsk and the Moscow Region. We also plan to propose [FIFA] to open a training site in Grozny."
Russia is currently gearing up for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.
It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.
The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over 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 between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.