MOSCOW, March 11. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018 Arkady Dvorkovich told TASS on Sunday he plans to have talks with FIFA, world’s governing football body, officials after a FIFA inspection visit in late March.
On Tuesday, Dvorkovich was appointed a Russian government coordinator on issues of related to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and replaced Vitaly Mutko as LOC chairman.
"I will have contacts with FIFA in several days, when another inspection is here. I will not accompany them on their trip. They have their work to do, I have mine. However I may visit a couple of stadiums. We will have a meeting after the inspection to sum up the results. There is no acute need to meet with [FIFA President] Gianni Infantino but if he wants, I am ready. Nonetheless, we will have working contacts ahead of the championship," Dvorkovich said.
"I have been briefed on the state of affairs. Preparations are proceeding as scheduled, although there are certain aspects to focus on to make it in time. I mean the stadium in Samara, the construction of which is lagging behind the schedule. However there are possibilities to catch up. The entire team is sparing no effort to do that," he said.
In his words, he reached a cooperation agreement with the Spartak stadium’s administration earlier in the day. "I was told about preparations of the arena and training grounds. Everything is proceeding as scheduled. We discussed working issues and agreed on cooperation," he noted.
The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 FIFA 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 aforementioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.