Putin hopes Russia's 2018 World Cup not at risk

Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced there is no risk of the venue of the 2018 FIFA World Cup being moved from Russia for political reasons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is convinced there is no risk of the venue of the 2018 FIFA World Cup being moved from Russia for political reasons.

"I hope not. FIFA has already said that football and sports in general are outside of politics. And I think this is the only right approach," Putin told attendees of the Seliger 2014 youth forum.

He also said that the number of Russian cities hosting the 2018 world cup will not be reduced.

"Just recently we were discussing this issue in government and decided not to reduce the stated number of cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup," Putin said.

Concurrently, he thanked FIFA and its president Joseph Blatter personally for the decision to allow Russian organizers to reduce the number of crowd seats at the stadiums where the World Cup will be taking place from 45,000 to 35,000.

"But they are doing so not only to please us but because after analysis of the situation at the World Cup in Brazil (it became clear) that not every city had its stadium completely filled and there is a fear that after the World Cup these stadiums will not be 100% in demand," Putin.

As far as Russia is concerned, this will not happen to the stadiums that will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, he added.

Read more: Russia’s three challenges for hosting the World Cup


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