FIFA happy with Russia's 2018 World Cup plans

AFP, Wednesday 22 Oct 2014

The head of a FIFA inspectors commission on Wednesday said they were satisfied with the results of their first tour of stadiums in Russia and the progress of preparations for the 2018 World Cup.

Christian Unger said that at the end of this summer's World Cup in Brazil governing body FIFA became totally focused on preparations for the next finals to be held in Russia.

"Brazil is now in the past," Unger told a news conference.

"Our full focus now is on Russia 2018. And every time we start a new project our main goal is to make it the best event in history. And we're currently in the process of doing that."

The head of the FIFA commission added that he was pleased with the pace of work in Russia.

"So far it seems that we're on a good pace," Unger said.

"We have some stadiums that are already finished and it helped us a lot in working out our operational plans.

"But we still have a lot of work to do to adapt the stadiums to the FIFA demands for the World Cup venues.

"We've done our inspections at four cities so far and have studied the plans of six other cities.

"It's very much a first introduction for us. But it's our joint project and we're happy to find out whom we will co-operate with, who will be our partners.

"The level of organisation that we've encountered with the local organising committee, the sports ministry, the hosts cities and the stadium authorities has been very high.

"They all seem to be highly motivated. And we leave Russia with a very high level of satisfaction."

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