UN, December 7. /TASS/. Russia is doing its best to host the upcoming FIFA 2018 World Cup "at the highest level," Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the UN General Assembly at a session devoted to sport and its role in global development late Tuesday.
"We fought for the right to host this major international event in a transparent manner, with the intention of promoting the ideas of the world’s most popular sports. Everything is done in order to host the championship at the highest level," the diplomat said.
The envoy said that Russia has received unique experience of hosting top-level global sports events while preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
The task of hosting the FIFA 2018 World Cup is "no less ambitious," Churkin said, adding that the scope of preparations "surpasses all previous projects carried out on Russia’s territory."
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the event, with a total of 269 construction projects scheduled for completion before the championship starts in summer 2018. Apart from 122 sports facilities, such as stadiums and training fields, Russia will also build transport, housing, power grid and healthcare facilities, Churkin said.
Russia 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, including two in the Russian capital.