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ST. PETERSBURG, July 24. /TASS/. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko pledged on Friday he would work to improve his English language skills ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia.
"I am progressing in the process of communication with members of the FIFA executive committee, representatives of national federations and teams," he told reporters. "We understand each other but I have to improve."
Mutko said Russia pledges to organize the next football world championship at the highest level possible as it deems that the World Cup series as a "jewel in the crown of FIFA."
"The Russian Federation assumes full responsibility in the organization of the championship as we understand that it [World Cup] is the most important tournament and is the jewel in the crown of FIFA," Mutko said.
"Therefore, we understand that this tournament must be organized at the highest level possible," the Russian sports minister added speaking one day ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
Mutko also said that Russia had been fulfilling all the undertaken obligations concerning the construction of stadiums, accommodation places, training sites as well as all other FIFA World Cup related infrastructure, necessary for the organization of the football championship.
The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition 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.
A total of over 200 nations have signed up for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.
The World Cup’s Preliminary Draw, which was first broadcast on television in 1971, underwent a remarkable evolutionary process throughout the years and is seen as the most to important cultural showpiece and the kick-start event for the championship itself.
In different decades and years this cultural showpiece was staged on numerous prominent global venues, including Louvre Museum in Paris, Madison Square Garden in New York and many others, and, according to FIFA official website, Russia’s St. Petersburg will continue "the tradition of memorable draws."
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.