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Putin discusses Russia's World Cup bid with a FIFA delegation in Moscow

© RIA Novosti . Alexei Druzhinin  / Go to the photo bankPutin discusses Russia's World Cup bid with a FIFA delegation in Moscow
Putin discusses Russia's World Cup bid with a FIFA delegation in Moscow - Sputnik International
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Russia will build new football stadiums and reconstruct old ones regardless of the outcome of its bid to host the World Cup, the Russian prime minister said on Tuesday at a meeting with a FIFA delegation in Moscow.

NOVO-OGARYOVO, August 17 (RIA Novosti)  Russia will build new football stadiums and reconstruct old ones regardless of the outcome of its bid to host the World Cup, the Russian prime minister said on Tuesday at a meeting with a FIFA delegation in Moscow.

Russia is competing with England, Australia, the United States, Spain and Portugal, and Belgium and the Netherlands to host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022. Japan, South Korea and Qatar are bidding only for the second tournament.

"The main sports facilities that we would use for the World Cup will be reconstructed whether we win the bid to hold the championships or not," Vladimir Putin said.

A FIFA delegation arrived in Moscow on Monday as part of a three-day official visit to Russia to consider the country's bid to host either of the two championships.

"Of course, if we are given the honor of the 2018 World Cup, we will carry out all reconstruction work in line with the FIFA regulations," Putin said.

The premier said football is very popular in Russia, with more than six million people playing the game on a regular basis.

If Russia wins the bid, the event will be held in 16 stadiums in 13 Russian cities.

The FIFA delegation began its visit to Russia on Monday in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city. After Moscow, it will visit Kazan and Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

FIFA officials have already visited Japan, South Korea, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands. After visiting Russia, the delegation will fly to England.

FIFA will appoint hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2. The 2018 tournament is expected to be given to a European bidder, meaning the 2022 event will be held on a different continent.

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