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After FIFA World Cup Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium to be Russian football development center

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko expressed hope that all final games of the Russia Cup will be played at Luzhniki as well

MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will continue as a Russian football development center after the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Russian government’s coordination council for the preparation of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Vitaly Mutko, told TASS on Sunday.

"Luzhniki was opened in 1956. The stadium was the main arena of the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Overhauling of the stadium started in 2013 to be over in 2017. The arena hosted six matches of the championship. On July 15, it will host the final match between France and Croatia," he said.

"I think from now on key matches of our national team will be played at Luzhniki. A museum of football will be reopened there, as will a Russian football educational and training center. I hope all final games of the Russia Cup will be played at Luzhniki as well - it will make it possible to give a fresh impetus to and raise the status of the Russian Cup," he said.

"Luzhniki will also help us promote children’s football. We have discussed corresponding methodology with the German Football Association (the Russian Football Union signed a cooperation agreement with the German Football Association in 2015 - TASS). We already have a program for training children aged from ten to 14, a program for children from seven to ten years of age is being launched and a program for teenagers from 14 to 17 is being worked on. The Russian Football Union alone will allocated about 100 mln rubles a year ($1.598 mln) to fund these programs," Mutko noted.

"It’s high time we use the result we have achieved and, with increased interest to football, change the system of training players targeting individual work with each one of them. It’s high time for us to take it seriously, to redistribute funds from transfers, from sales of players to remunerate coaches who train professional footballers," he stressed.

The FIFA World Cup which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.

Eleven host cities, namely Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara, were selected to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup.

The national football team of hosts Russia managed to make it to the quarterfinals stage of this world championship, where Croatia edged them out in a 4-2 penalty shootout on July 7 at the Fisht Arena in Sochi.