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ZURICH /SWITZERLAND/, May 25 /TASS/. Russia is preparing for the 2018 World Cup according to plan without any problems, Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko, a member of the FIFA executive committee, told TASS on Monday.
Mutko, the head of the Russia-2018 organizing committee, reported on the World Cup preparations to the FIFA Executive Committee session in Zurich on May 25.
"The process of preparation for the 2018 World Cup is on the agenda of every FIFA executive committee meeting. I made a report on how the preparations were going on. This time it was easy because FIFA President Mr /Joseph/ Blatter attended the Sport Accord forum in Sochi in April where he had a chance to visit a stadium and meet Russian President Vladimir Putin," Mutko said.
"Naturally, the key problems include stadiums, accommodation, team bases and drawing for qualifications. We have no problem in this respect," the Russian sport minister stressed.
A preliminary World Cup 2018 drawing will take place in St. Petersburg on July 25. "Everything is ready for the drawing procedure. We presented the venue where the teams will be received and will meet each other and where a meeting of the organizing committee to be chaired by Michel Platini, president of the Union of European Football Associations, will take place," Mutko stressed.
The 2018 World Cup will take place at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don from June 14 to July 15, 2018.
The FIFA Executive Committee also discussed a bidding campaign for the right to host the 2026 World Cup.
"The 2026 World Cup was one of the main items on the agenda. Today we approved the whole system of preparations - the base conditions and dates. The first bids will be submitted in July," Mutko said.
Canada, Mexico and Colombia have already announced the plans to bid for the 2026 World Cup. Other nations like the United States and Morocco may join the bidding campaign. FIFA will name the 2026 World Cup host at its congress in 2017.