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FIFA unlikely to have claims to Russian cities’ readiness to 2018 World Cup — official

September 21, 2017, 16:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15

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MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. FIFA, the world’s football governing body, is highly unlikely to have any claims concerning Russian cities’ readiness for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 after the next regular inspection, Director General of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Alexei Sorokin told TASS on Thursday.

A joint delegation of FIFA and Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) will set off on a sixth inspection visit of the stadiums, venues of the FIFA 2018 World Cup. The delegation will be headed by Sorokin and FIFA Director of Competitions Colin Smith. The group will also include experts in stadium preparation, competition management, security, transport, hospitality services, TV broadcasting, media work, personnel work and marketing and ticketing program implementation.

"It is a routine event, a regular inspection visit we have had a lot. We will tour the cities that did not hosted the Confederations Cup. The host cities will be inspected in the videoconference mode," Sorokin said.

"As usual, focus will be made on the stadiums, most of work will be centered round them. There will be presentations of the cities, inspections of certain facilities, such as training grounds, hotels that cause concern. We will set off on September 26, in the evening to have the first working day on September 27 in Yekaterinburg," he said.

"We think there will be a lot of question, but this is what we are working for. As for claims, there will be none - we are keeping to the schedule, more or less. Preparations of stadiums and adjacent territories is a comprehensive matter encompassing many functions and activities - success of each and every match depends on proper planning. So far, we have succeeded in it, at the Confederations Cup. And there are no grounds to think we will fail it at the World Cup," Sorokin stressed.

The inspection will cover eight cities, namely Yekaterinburg, Samara, Saransk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Kaliningrad and Moscow (Luzhniki stadium). The visit will aim to hold discussions about the stadiums’ operational activities during the World Cup 2018. Besides, experts will see presentations on stadium readiness in St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi, the host cities of the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Russia was granted the right for the football championship after clinching the bid in Guatemala in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a bid from England, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain and another 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 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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