Putin urges Russia to prepare
© LOC

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a successful meeting last Wednesday to discuss the country's preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Putin used this opportunity to underline the importance of the country’s obligations to FIFA and set the course for work to ensure that Russia is ready for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the FIFA World Cup in 2018. 

The Prime Minister started the meeting by reminding participants of what the FIFA World Cup will bring to the country for the long term: “A celebration of football over a whole month will leave our country with a cultural and financial windfall that will serve the nation for decades to come. We’re talking about rapid expansion of sports, transport and hotel infrastructure, about new businesses and jobs, about new international and personal relationships. Tens of thousands of people from all over the globe will visit Russia and see with their own eyes a modern, rapidly growing country that is open to the world.” 

Putin identified stadium construction as a priority stating: “This is a fundamental component of our preparations for hosting the World Cup.” A number of construction sites in various cities that meet all FIFA requirements will need to be approved. Funding for stadium construction will be considered on a case-by-case basis with federal and regional budgets expected to contribute alongside private investors. 

Putin also set objectives in the area of transport infrastructure, including developing a concept for rapid rail services to connect key FIFA World Cup locations and initiating modernisation of airports in cities which will host matches during the tournament. 

In addition, the Prime Minister emphasised the urgent need for a special law on organising the FIFA World Cup in Russia and instructed the Russian Football Association to ensure full involvement of the fans in FIFA World Cup preparations and to get the national team ready for the tournament.