‘FIFA gave Russia 12 on 10-point scale for 2018 World Cup preparation’

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Moscow, Dec 26 (IANS) FIFA has graded Russia 12 on a scale of 10 for its work in 2015 in preparing for the 2018 World Cup, Sports Minister and Local Organising Committee (LOC) head Vitaly Mutko has said.

“FIFA is annually evaluating the work of the organizing committees on its 10-point system,” Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, said on Friday, reports Tass.

“We were graded 12 for our work in 2015. The advanced grade was awarded for our ahead-of-schedule work.”

He said the LOC had already approved a total of 64 training bases to accommodate the participants of the global football championship and introduced an electronic database, which provides information about each of the facilities.

“We have completed the projects concepts concerning security, communications and transportation,” the minister said.

“Back in 2013 the Russian government already adopted a special program, which included about 300 facilities,” he said.

“They are all currently under construction payed by the federal budget. In addition we have added up approximately the same amount of regional infrastructure facilities. In general – the work is currently underway in all possible directions, everything goes in line with the announced schedule and everything is under our control,” Mutko added.

Last week Mutko announced the budget of Russia’s LOC in charge of the World Cup organisation would stand in 2016 at four billion rubles ($57 million).

“Two billion, or maybe less, were allocated by FIFA. The rest of the money comes from the state budget and donations of our business partners,” Mutko announced last week.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010, in 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 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.

In September, a total of 33 cities across Russia involving over 450,000 people were celebrating the 1,000-day countdown of the tournament. Main celebrations of Russia’s countdown were held in Moscow.

This summer Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was the venue for the tourney’s preliminary draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself. A total of 208 nations participated in the event on July 25 and it was for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the draw.

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