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FIFA president praises Russia as future World Cup host

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FIFA President Joseph Blatter said that Russia's selection as a host of the 2018 World Cup will boost the popularity and development of soccer around the world.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter said that Russia's selection as a host of the 2018 World Cup will boost the popularity and development of soccer around the world.

Blatter met late on Thursday with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who arrived in Zurich shortly after Russia had won the bid to host the major event in the soccer world for the first time in history after a tight race against England, Portugal and Spain, and Belgium and the Netherlands.

"You [Russia] have held a good presentation, a very emotional presentation, you spoke from your heart, and all was clear already in the second round of the voting," Blatter told Putin during a meeting at FIFA headquarters.

"We have shown that we are ready to go to Africa, Brazil, and Russia. Eastern Europe is a huge territory where we have not been before," Blatter said.

In response, Putin thanked FIFA for selecting Russia as a World Cup host, and said this event would certainly help promote and develop soccer in the country.

"It will help us to continue developing soccer in Russia. I thank you from the bottom of my heart," the Russian prime minister said.

Putin said earlier at a new conference in Zurich that Russia won the World Cup bid in a fair competition with tough opponents mainly because its bid closely reflected FIFA expansion philosophy and the country was in a better political and economic shape than many European countries.

Russia pledged to spend about $10 billion on the preparation for the World Cup and to ensure "the best conditions for players as well as for the spectators during the event."

 

ZURICH, December 3 (RIA Novosti)

 

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