Chechnya and Dagestan could host 2018 World Cup training bases

Russia 2018 logo1

By Paul Nicholson
May 1 – The soft face of news from Russia on World Cup 2018 preparations, met the harder of face football’s geo-politics this week. As the 2018 organisers launched a competition to create the mascot for the 2018 World Cup, the organisers were pushed into defending the possibility of housing teams in 2018 in the volatile North Caucasus regions, including Chechnya.

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Russians on track for 2018, but budgets keep rising

Russia 2018 logo1

By Paul Nicholson
April 24 – Russia’s stadium preparations for the 2018 World Cup are on schedule in terms of delivery dates, but off-schedule in terms of cost. An issue that is forcing the organisers to continually re-evaluate, but which they have repeatedly said will not derail the overall plan.

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Artistic venue selected for FIFA banquet and preliminary World Cup draw

Konstantinovsky Palace

By David Owen at the SportAccord Convention in Sochi
April 21 – A highly cultured venue has been chosen for the FIFA banquet coinciding with the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 World Cup. Russia 2018 chief executive Alexey Sorokin has told Insideworldfootball that the banquet is to be held at the Russian museum of fine arts in St Petersburg. The draw itself – the first official event of the World Cup – has been scheduled for this coming July 25 at the restored 17th century Konstantinovsky Palace.

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Shaky start for Russian legacy as Rotor Volgograd goes bust

Rotor Volgograd fans

April 14 – World Cup legacy is championed as an important ingredient of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event and generally the build-up to the event generates enthusiasm and excitement for the game – it is a catalyst for the growth of the game in the country. So the news that Rotor Volgograd, one of Russia leading clubs in the 1990s has gone bust, is a an unfortunate counter to the legacy proposition.

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Russians acknowledge they need to get tougher on racism

Russia 2018 logo1

By Andrew Warshaw
March 4 – One of Russia’s leading football officials has admitted the country must eliminate the “virus” of racism before the 2018 World Cup. With so much focus on Qatar 2022, Russian organisers have managed to escape the same level of scrutiny but comments by FIFA president Sepp Blatter have forced them to concede that considerable effort needs to be made to tackle discrimination.

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