MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Russia is planning to toughen security measures during the 2018 World Cup, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday.
"Security measures will be tightened following the recent events in the world. The security concept has been coordinated. A special FIFA delegation will come on November 30," said Mutko who heads the Local Organizing Committee.
According to the Russian Sports Minister, the International Federation of Football Associations is satisfied with Russia’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup.
"We are looking forward for the great event. Today we’ve discussed in detail preparations for the World Cup with our colleagues. This is a joint project and we work as one team. We are grateful to all FIFA colleagues," said Mutko who heads the Local Organizing Committee.
Acting FIFA Secretary General Markus Kattner thanked Mutko and his team for their work, adding that it was always a pleasure to come to Russia.
Russia will fulfill all obligations to the International Federation of Football Associations on preparations for the 2018 World Cup, the Russian Sports Minister added.
"FIFA is a major organization and the World Cup is its biggest project. Of course, we are planning to fulfill all obligations," said Mutko.
Russia’s budget set aside for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been optimized and will remain unchanged, Russian Sports Minister and Organizing Committee Chairman Vitaly Mutko said on Tuesday.
"No, optimization is already over," Mutko said, replying to a question about whether Russia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup budget might be increased.
"The entire budget has been preserved. This is one of budget items protected by the government," the sports minister said.
In February Russia already introduced changes to the program of its preparations for the 2018 World Cup, in particular reducing the number of training sites for the upcoming global football championship and reducing seating capacity of two stadiums.
The relevant document was agreed upon with the Russian Sports Ministry as well as with the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The number of initially planned 48 pre-tournament training sites across Russia has been reduced to 37 and the seating capacity of two out of 12 total stadiums selected to host the 2018 World Cup matches has been slashed by some 22%.
The two stadiums at issue are the Baltika Stadium in Russia’s westernmost city of Kaliningrad and the Central Stadium in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. Their accommodating capability will be downsized from 45,000 to 35,000-seat capacity in line with the minimization of the construction costs.
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.