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Russia prepares for football 2018

Russia prepares for football 2018

In late 2010 FIFA announced that in 8 years the honor to house the World Cup would be Russia’s. Now it’s a little more than 1 year until the first match, we are counting days. Is Russia ready for the most expected football event of 2018?

Moscow plans to house several games of the Cup. The decisive game and semifinals will be held at “Luzhniki”, as well as the first match of the Russian team. Some time ago the capital announced it was ready to welcome guests and participants. Infrastructure, transportation and hotels are ready. There are only several finishing strokes to do.

Moscow is one of the few cities ready to welcome the teams any time. In fact, this degree of readiness can be explained by the upcoming FIFA Confederations Cup — it’s scheduled on summer 2017.

The capital announced that it was ready to welcome guests and participants, photo WEBThe capital announced that it was ready to welcome guests and participants, photo WEB

Other parts of Russia are continuing to build and decorate hotels, to modernize airports, etc. Construction of new stadiums and reconstruction of the existing ones is on the go in all the 11 host cities, but the completion dates are being postponed constantly. Budgets are also increasing; in particular regions they have increased tenfold. A lion’s share of funds is allocated by the state, although private investments are also considerable.

Zenit Arena will be the most expensive one, photo WEBZenit Arena will be the most expensive one, photo WEB

Kazan Arena — the stadium is ready to welcome the teams, photo WEBKazan Arena — the stadium is ready to welcome the teams, photo WEB

Rostov Arena is half a year ahead the schedule, photo WEBRostov Arena is half a year ahead the schedule, photo WEB

The construction of the Fisht stadium in Sochi is on its final stages, photo WEBThe construction of the Fisht stadium in Sochi is on its final stages, photo WEB

Despite the difficulties which appear out of the blue now and then, organizers and contractors in all the regions claim to finish the works in time. FIFA remained satisfied with the results after inspecting the objects.

Law enforcers will be much stressed during the games. Dortmund hooligans have recently reminded of this problem. Our police will be supported with stricter new laws concerning violations of law and order at stadiums and outside of them. For disorderly conduct Russian citizens will have to pay the fine from 500 to 50,000 rubles or go to jail for 15 days. Foreign citizens may be asked to leave the country.

Customs office has also braced itself and is ready to work hard in order to prevent import of infringing articles. The Customs Register is already completed with 14 trademarks belonging to FIFA. The headquarters are being created to control the goods travelling with the guests and participants of the Cup.

Russian football fans won’t be able to watch the main football event of 2018 on local TV channels, photo WEBRussian football fans won’t be able to watch the main football event of 2018 on local TV channels, photo WEB

There are also a lot of external hindrances. In early April FIFA announced the sum for the Russian TV channels to pay for the right to broadcast the matches. The price of 120 million has rightfully enraged the media representatives and it remains unclear whether the issue is to be resolved peacefully. As for now, the fact is that Russian football fans won’t be able to watch the main football event of 2018 on local TC channels.

Meanwhile, Europe is experiencing signs of unrest among its disaffected to Russia citizens. Some of them call out to boycott the World Cup. The host party recommends to keep sports separate from politics and reminds that the right to cancel the tournament is FIFA’s. The Federation sounds reassuring: “There are no reasons to cancel World Cup 2018 in Russia”.

Victoria Romanova, Moscow, Russia

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