No reason to relocate 2018 FIFA World Cup outside Russia: Minister

Moscow, Feb 3 (IANS) There is no reason for relocating the 2018 football World Cup from Russia to another country as the “point of no return” had been cleared,” Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

“There are no reasons at all for hosting the world championship in any other country,” Mutko said. He is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and a member of the world governing body FIFA’s executive committee, reports Tass.

“We have passed the point of no return. Russia has honestly won the right to host the World Cup. This is FIFA’s project. We need to unite our efforts,” Mutko said.

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 later 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 of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in these 11 cities across Russia.

Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital. Last September, a total of 33 cities across Russia involving over 450,000 people celebrated the 1,000-day countdown to the 2018 World Cup.

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