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FIFA Sec. Gen. likely to visit Russia in July — FIFA chief Infantino

June 01, 13:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
FIFA’s newly appointed Secretary General will most likely pay an official visit to Russia in July and after that her visits to the 2018 World Cup hosting country will be on a regular basis
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© EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT

MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. FIFA’s newly appointed Secretary General Fatma Samoura will most likely pay an official visit to Russia in her new capacity in July and after that her visits to the 2018 World Cup hosting country will be on a regular basis, FIFA President Gianni Infantino told journalists on Wednesday.

Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura of Senegal was appointed FIFA Secretary General on May 13. Samoura, the United Nations’ Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, has become the first-ever woman to occupy this position.

"She is in charge of the administration of FIFA and of course she has a crucial role in the organization of the [2018] World Cup," Infantino, who is currently paying an official visit to Russia, said. "She will start officially her duties in FIFA on June 20."

"I think Russia will certainly be one of her first visits in her new quality of the Secretary General," Infantino said. "So I am expecting sometime in July she will certainly be able to come to Russia and then you will see her quite often."

The FIFA president is in Moscow on Wednesday upon an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Later in the afternoon both Infantino and Putin will launch the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Volunteer Recruitment campaign at a solemn ceremony in the Russian capital.

Infantino, elected the president of the world’s governing body of football three months ago, is paying his second official visit to Russia in his current capacity.

He paid his previous visit to Moscow in late April. He held a meeting with President Putin, Sports Minister Mutko and other state and sports officials, addressed the Federation Council (the Russian parliament’s upper house), toured the newly-built Otkritie-Arena stadium, which will host 2018 World Cup matches, and paid a visit to the currently reconstructed Luzhniki Arena, which will host the final match of the 2018 World Cup.

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.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will be held at four stadiums in Russia and they are Otkritie-Arena in Moscow, St. Petersburg Arena, Fisht in Sochi and Kazan-Arena in Kazan.

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