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MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. There is no critical lagging behind in preparations for hosting the 2018 World Football Cup finals that might cause alarm, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told the media on Wednesday.
"There is no lagging behind that might cause great alarm. Certain backlogs do exist. It is impossible to do without them. In part, this concerns the stadium in St. Petersburg. The target is all building machinery should leave the stadiums in 2017 and should lawns begin to be grown," Mutko said.
"Construction of some airports and hotels is behind schedule. We report progress in construction work to Vladimir Putin once a month. On-site process meetings are being held. Igor Shuvalov has toured regions thrice," Mutko said.
He believes that the stadium in St. Petersburg will be finalized in December and tune-up and adjustment work will begin in January-February.
"St. Petersburg is a key city for the FIFA Confederations Cup. We see no substitutes. We’ve heard the governor’s report. If the report is implemented, everything will be fine," he said.
"In Kazan, the infrastructures and the airport are ready. There are some minor problems with the stadium. Work on the pitch is in progress. In October it will be fully ready and placed on list of playable stadiums," Mutko said.
Matches of the 2018 World Football Cup finals will be held on June 14 - July 15 at twelve stadiums in Russia’s eleven cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhni Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi, and Rostov-on-Don.