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Fifa warns Russia over its bid to host a World Cup

Vitaly Mutko, president of the Russian Football Union
Vitaly Mutko, president of the Russian Football Union, launched his country's bid

Fifa has warned World Cup bidder Russia they must begin building their stadiums and infrastructure immediately if they are to host the finals in 2018 or 2022.

Inspectors from football's world governing body have completed a four-day visit to Russia.

"Work needs to start now to guarantee everything will be in place in time," said Fifa's Harold Mayne-Nicholls.

Up to 10 new stadiums could be built with Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium the proposed venue for the final.

Mayne-Nicholls, who heads Fifa's inspection committee, added that the visit to the four potential host cities of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Sochi had been "excellent".

Fifa's executive committee will decide who will host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 at a meeting in Zurich on 2 December.

Russia's rivals to host the tournaments are England, the United States, and joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

FIFA INSPECTION SCHEDULE
July 19-22 Japan, 22-25 South Korea, 26-29 Australia
August 9-12 N'lands/Belgium,
16-19 Russia, 23-26 England,
30 Aug-2 Sep Spain/Portugal
September 6-9 United States, 13-17 Qatar

Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar are applying for the 2022 finals only.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Fifa on Tuesday that his country will waive visa requirements for participants if it wins hosting rights, an idea the delegation warmly received.

Visitors from nearly all countries require a visa to travel to Russia, which must be applied for in advance.

Putin also said the construction of 'world-class' football stadiums will go ahead regardless of whether Russia is granted hosting rights, which will be co-funded out of state money and private investment.

Fifa's inspection team has already visited Japan, South Korea, Australia and Belgium and the Netherlands.

Their next visit is to England, starting on Monday, where they will spend time with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

A series of events will take place across the country and David Beckham, vice-president of the England 2018 bid, said he felt it was a chance to show Fifa what England can offer.

"I've no doubt fans from around the country will unite and show the Fifa inspection team the passion and festival of football we could create if we staged the world's greatest sporting event," Beckham said.


WORLD CUP HOST BIDDERS

2018 and 2022: England, Netherlands/Belgium, Russia, Spain/Portugal, United States.

2022 only: Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea.



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see also
Russia in 2018 visa waiver pledge
17 Aug 10 |  Football
Japan stadia hailed on Fifa visit
21 Jul 10 |  Football
Australia drops out of 2018 race
10 Jun 10 |  Football
Triesman verdict pleases bid team
29 May 10 |  Football
Japan abandons 2018 World Cup bid
04 May 10 |  Football
Thompson named 2018 bid chairman
17 May 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Beckham hands over 2018 Cup bid
14 May 10 |  Football
Russia enters race to host 2018
20 Jan 09 |  Internationals


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