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Putin: World Cup groundwork comes to a close, finishing touches get underway

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup

SOCHI, May 3. /TASS/. Preparations for the FIFA World Cup have been nearly wrapped up, and Russia is geared up for the tournament, and now the finishing touches are underway, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Russia 2018 Local Organizing Committee in Sochi.

"The preparations for the World Cup, which this country will be hosting this year, have been nearly completed. Russia is ready for the tournament. A lot has been done and now the most demanding stage - putting finishing touches on all mechanisms involved in the process of holding the world championship - is beginning," Putin said.

Putin noted that the burden on the Russian regions hosting the World Cup will significantly grow. "The situation demands constant attention and your personal participation in organizing this work," Putin told the governors who take part in the meeting via a video link-up.

The president called on regional authorities to ensure comfortable conditions for citizens, convenient logistics for guests and athletes, a cultural program and safe situation on the roads.

"During this entire month our regions will be in the center of the whole world’s attention, including dozens of international mass media," the president stressed.

"Our duty as good and careful hosts of the tournament is to take care about each fan attending the championship’s matches. Volunteers and representatives of the services sector, working at the championship’s facilities, should be ready to provide all necessary assistance to the guests on the widest range of issues - accommodation, food and cultural program," Putin said.

Russia 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 will kick off on June 14 and run to July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.