Putin: 2018 World Cup will draw young people to sports

The 2018 World Cup will popularize sports in Russia and turn young people away from alcohol drinking and tobacco smoking, President Vladimir Putin said.

"It is a very good opportunity to draw young people to sports massively, to infect them with sports and to turn them away from alcohol and tobacco. Generally, sports programs have been receiving increasingly serious attention in this country, which is reasonable, given our demography programs and plans to improve the health of the nation. Major competitions like this one undoubtedly provide an opportunity to draw the younger generation to sports in the first place," Putin said in an interview with Channel One.

On Russia's bid to host the Word Cup, he said, "We started a long time ago and our first try goes back to 2005. At least we made our first contact then with FIFA, with Mr. Blatter and with other organizers. And in 2008 we started implementing the plans set," he said.

"We filed our bid in 2008 and we won this right in 2010," Putin said.

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