Sports

Russia to reveal 2018 World Cup host cities this month

File photo shows FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) and Local Organising Committee chief Vitaly Mutko at the signing ceremony to finalise the status of Russia as the 2018 FIFA World Cup host country at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg January 23, 2011. – Reuters picFile photo shows FIFA President Sepp Blatter (R) and Local Organising Committee chief Vitaly Mutko at the signing ceremony to finalise the status of Russia as the 2018 FIFA World Cup host country at the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg January 23, 2011. – Reuters picMOSCOW, Sept 5 – The host cities for the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be announced this month, the tournament’s organisers said today.

“The Local Organising Committee (LOC) and FIFA will announce the host cities on Sept. 29 in Moscow,” LOC said in a statement.

Thirteen Russian cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Krasnodar, Rostov, Sochi and Yekaterinburg – are competing for the right to stage the world’s biggest event.

LOC head Vitaly Mutko said last year the tournament will be played in 12 stadiums located in 11 cities.

Moscow will have two venues: the 90,000-seat Luzhniki stadium, which will stage the final, and another to be chosen from two 45,000-seat arenas that are being built by the Spartak and Dynamo clubs.

LOC would not reveal the outsiders but most experts say the two cities likely to be cut are Saransk, which has the smallest venue, and Yekaterinburg, located at the foot of the Ural mountains near the Europe-Asia border, approximately 1,800 kilometres from Moscow.

Russia beat England and joint bids from Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands in December 2010 to win the right to stage the 32-team competition. – Reuters