Vitaly Mutko, chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and Russia’s Sports Minister, and Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s Secretary General, have been reflecting on the LOC’s second board meeting involving FIFA representatives, which took place in Saint Petersburg on 20 November.
On the outcomes from the board meeting
Today the LOC briefed FIFA on the work that has been done so far, and highlighted a number of key issues. This year’s main event was the announcement of the final list of Host Cities for the World Cup, with the tournament taking place in 11 cities and at 12 stadiums. We also presented our model for how we intend to stage the World Cup and the process we’re planning to follow in order to prepare for the tournament.
We informed FIFA that, based on instructions from the Russian president, by April 2013 the Russian government must adopt an investment programme focusing on preparations for the World Cup. In addition, regional preparation programmes are to be approved.
The process of enacting a federal law on the World Cup is under way. This piece of legislation will help to reinforce the guarantees the country made back at the bid stage.
We discussed the process of creating an official World Cup emblem and motto, and we also looked at issues to do with television and commercial rights for the tournament, as well as a series of technical and financial issues.
We have achieved complete mutual understanding with FIFA and we have their full support. Our meetings are happening regularly, and we are trying to make full use of FIFA’s immense experience of staging major international sporting events.
On the blueprint for the staging of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
The LOC invited FIFA to approve Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium as the venue for the opening match, one of the semi-finals and the final of Russia 2018. The other semi-final should take place at the stadium in Saint Petersburg.
We also proposed a blueprint for the staging of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which would see the tournament played in four stadiums. Those venues will be the arena on Saint Petersburg’s Krestovsky Island, which will host the tournament’s opening match and final, the stadiums in Kazan and Sochi, and Spartak Moscow’s new arena.
The LOC’s proposals will be examined at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee in December.
On the construction and design of the 2018 World Cup arenas
The LOC also briefed FIFA on the construction and design of the stadiums. Five of the arenas which will be hosting World Cup matches are already under construction. We expect that work will start on the design of a further six stadiums by the end of the year. This year the Russian government has contributed one billion roubles to the designing of four arenas – in Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg and Volgograd. The winner of the tender to design the arena in Volgograd may even be announced today. Two other cities, Kaliningrad and Samara, may also complete their tender procedures by the end of the year.
Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary General
On cooperation with the LOC
Very soon we will finish assembling the team which will be making the preparations for Russia 2018. And I’m pleased to note that, together with the Russia 2018 LOC, we are moving fast. The World Cup involves hundreds of projects, and the burden of implementing them rests with the LOC, the government and the tournament’s Host Cities. In order to hold a World Cup and keep within budget, the organisers must stick strictly to the timetable for the tournament preparations.
The meetings of the LOC board involving FIFA representatives take place once a year, but we cooperate a great deal and closely outside of those meetings. In particular, there are regular working meetings at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich. Our specialists are paying regular visits to Russia. As part of the preparations, there is a constant exchange of information and constant collaboration. I would like to thank the Russian government for the support they have shown the LOC and FIFA.
On the relocation and approval of the sites for the construction of the 2018 World Cup stadiums
There is one single principle that governs approval of the sites for the construction of the 2018 World Cup stadiums, just as there is one single principle for making decisions about relocating those sites. The Russia 2018 LOC cooperates with the tournament’s Host Cities and consults them on this issue. The LOC subsequently sends a proposal to FIFA, which makes the final decision on this issue in the course of a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee.
On security for the World Cup
With everyone who is buying tickets for the tournament in Brazil, we obtain their first name, their surname, their date of birth and their telephone number, and we check their identification documents. We can check this information with the help of data from the police and from Interpol. At the World Cup in South Africa, we received all the required supporter information from the police forces in the 32 countries taking part.
We are working hard to ensure that the World Cup takes place in an atmosphere of celebration, and that it is as safe as possible. The incidents there with fireworks were simply unacceptable. As for Russia 2018, we are dealing with the security issues together with the LOC and the Russian Football Union. We are explaining our requirements. I’m confident that nothing of the sort will happen at the 2018 FIFA World Cup or the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.