74 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Russian football puts reset on fast forward with Mutko taking centrestage

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By Paul Nicholson
July 15 – Russian focus on preparing a competitive team for the 2018 World Cup has intensified following the departure of Fabio Capello after a string of poor results, with a search for a new – Russian national – coach underway. The federation is also on the hunt for a new president with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko emerging as frontrunner to return to a post he has held before.

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Russia cuts $560m from 2018 World Cup infrastructure budget

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By Paul Nicholson
June 23 – Russia has formalised a 30 billion rubles ($560 million) cut in its 2018 World Cup spending. The government cuts will be around planned infrastructure projects with hotel development plans being the hardest hit. There are no plans to cut spending on stadia and construction will continue unaffected.

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Mutko bullish as LOC and FIFA meet over 2018 preparations

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By Paul Nicholson in Moscow
June 10 – Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko (pictured) has reiterated that Russia’s bid for 2018 was a clean bid and that there was no corruption. Mutko spoke after a series of meetings between the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee and a FIFA delegation in the Oblast Government House in Samara.

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