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MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Reelection of the Russian Football Union (RFU) president will not hinder preparations for the 2018 World Cup, Alexei Sorokin, the head of Russia-2018 organizing committee, told TASS on Sundau.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Football Union conference terminated the powers of the organization’s head, Nikolai Tolstykh, who had been in the office since 2012. The decision was supported by 235 out of 449 delegates and gained the required minimum of more than a half of the votes. RFU’s First Vice-President Nikita Simonyan, 88, will discharge the duties of the organization’s acting head.
"I don’t see how the decision of the Russian Football Union conference can influence preparations for the World Cup," he said. "Yes, the Russian Football Union is the organizer of the event and it goes on to exist. Moreover, the RFU take no direct part in the preparations for the world tournament. All operational actions are in the competence of the organizing committee."
Under the RFU charter, the Union’s executive committee or the committee’s board has three months to call an extraordinary conference elect a new president. The new president however will be elected for a short period, since in line with the legislation, the Russian Football Union as an organization representing a summer sports discipline will have to hold regular elections of the president within six months after the Olympic Summer Games in August 2016. Under article 23 of the charter, proposals on possible candidates are to be submitted to the Russian Football Union in a written form or by e-mail not later than 40 calendar days before the extraordinary conference.
The 2018 World Cup matches will be played in a period from June 4 to July 15 at 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, and Rostov-on-Don.