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Russia’s Volgograd nearly ready to host 2018 FIFA World Cup games — Mutko

December 16, 2016, 23:20 UTC+3 VOLGOGRAD

Russia's deputy prime minister said he was "satisfied with the course of preparations"

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS, archive

VOLGOGRAD, December 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Volgograd, one of 11 cities across the country selected to host the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is ready for the global football championship, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.

"I am very satisfied with the course of preparations, however I have to point out to some problems, which always emerge but they can be solved," Muto, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said.

"I do see that the city of Volgograd is implementing its obligations in full volume ahead of the 2018 World Cup and does its work with complete responsibility," Mutko added.

The new 45,000-seats capacity Pobeda (Victory) Arena for the 2018 World Cup is constructed on the site of the current Central Stadium, which was built in 1962 and is home for Rotor Volgograd FC. The dismantling of the Central Stadium was launched in mid-October 2015 with the initially estimated construction cost of the new arena at $420 million.

Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is a city of over one million population stretching alongside the Volga River. The city and the surrounding areas were the scene of the heaviest battles of World War II and the Battle of Stalingrad is considered to be the turning point in the war.

An area of over 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) was allocated for the construction of the new stadium and parking sites almost in the heart of the city, while the Pobeda Arena itself will be occupying an area of some 124,000 square meters (30.6 acres).

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football tournaments 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.

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