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MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. The 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be hosted by Russia, will leave the country tremendous infrastructure heritage, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday.
Addressing senators of the Russian parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, Infantino said his main task in the capacity of the FIFA president was to cultivate enthusiasm and love to football in such country as Russia and the upcoming 2018 World Cup would leave to the country not only rich football heritage, but infrastructure as well, including roads and hotels.
The FIFA president said, however, that the most important heritage would be the global image of the country as Russia would be hosting football fans from around the globe and Russian would be proud of it.
Infantino, elected the president of the world’s governing body of football less than two months ago, is paying his first official visit to Russia on April 19-20 in his new capacity.
Jointly with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin he inspected on Tuesday morning the course of the reconstruction works at the Luzhniki Arena for the 2018 World Cup. Later in the day he held talks in the Russian Football Union (RFU) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), which is in charge of organizing the 2018 World Cup.
On Tuesday night he held a joint news conference with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the RFU president.
Former UEFA Secretary General Infantino, 46, was one of the five candidates running for the FIFA presidency and on February 26 at the Extraordinary Congress in Zurich he was voted in the second ballot by the organization’s member associations to take charge of the world’s governing body of football.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football championship after the country won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country 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.