MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) Vitaly Mutko, who is also the country’s sports minister, told TASS on Tuesday he held a session on security issues at football stadiums in Russia with representatives from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
"We held an all-embracing seminar with the participation of UEFA delegates," Mutko said in an interview with TASS. "The Council of Europe is preparing a conference on security issues and UEFA is taking an active stance in this issue."
"They [UEFA delegates] arrived here to share experience, including on the way they are training stewards and organizing the matches in general," Mutko, who was elected the RFU president this month, said.
Security and fans behavior during football matches is under close attention of the Russian football authorities as the country is currently in full swing preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
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.
Sports Minister Mutko was unanimously elected the RFU president at the organization’s extraordinary session on September 2. He headed the RFU from April 2005 to November 2009. He left the post of the organization’s president, following a government resolution, which required that government officials should quit top positions in sports federations.
In July 2015, an exception was made for Mutko to combine the posts of the sports minister and the RFU’s head, which allowed him to take part in the presidential elections.
The next elections of the RFU’s head will be held within six months after the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, to be held on August 5-21, 2016.