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Putin to attend session on Russia’s preparations for 2018 FIFA World Cup

October 03, 2017, 7:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Participants in the session are set to sum up the results of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and discuss the current state of preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, October 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to attend on Tuesday a session of the Council on Physical Culture and Sports, which is dedicated to the country’s preparations for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Kremlin said in its statement.

"Participants in the session are set to sum up the results of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and discuss the current state of preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup," the statement said.

The key speakers at the session will be Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov and Alexey Sorokin, the director general of Russia-2018 LOC (Local Organizing Committee), according to the statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been personally supervising the country’s preparations for major sports events, including the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Early last month Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino inspected the refurbished Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital watching training sessions of youth football teams.

The Russian president said that the Luzhniki Stadium "deserved to be the main stage for the upcoming world football championship," adding that the facility would serve as the venue for the opening and final matches.

Refurbishment on the Luzhniki Arena was launched in 2013 and once the work was completed, the stadium would extend its spectator capacity boasting up to 81,000 seats.

This is the second grand reconstruction of the stadium, which was initially built in 1957. The first major repair works on the stadium took place in the run-up to the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.

Following the current reconstruction efforts, the athletics tracks inside the stadium were removed, the spectators’ stand are now rectangular in form and moved closer to the pitch, while the number of tiers will be increased to 16 from the previous 13.

One of the main aspects of the reconstruction project was to preserve the historical facade of the stadium, which, according to FIFA, "since 1956 hosted a multitude of major sporting and cultural events, including the 1980 Summer Olympics, world championships in ice hockey, athletics and rugby and concerts featuring some of the world's greatest musical performers."

The Luzhniki Arena’s principal affinity, however, was with football since over 3,000 matches have been played there over the years.

After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The country was granted the right for the global quadrennial football championship after winning the bid in Guatemala in December 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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