With three years to go until the 2018 World Cup final is played in Moscow, preparations around Russia for the tournament are largely on track, in contrast with the worries and delays that preceded the competition in Brazil. For Russia, the worries are not so much centred around the building of venues as the need to find a new national team coach after Fabio Capello was sacked on Tuesday. The Russian Football Union have a new rebuilding job to do, just as the construction of stadia continues apace. “We are ahead of schedule,” declares a proud Marat Khusnullin, Moscow’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Development, with hard hat on as he stands on the pitch at the Russian capital’s Luzhniki Stadium, which will host the World Cup final on July 15, 2018 but is currently peppered with building machinery. It could scarcely be more different to the repeated delays before Brazil 2014. Memories are still fresh of the huge worries about […]

Russia fought honestly for the right to host the 2018 World Cup and the decision should not be called into question, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. Swiss judicial authorities are probing the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar as part of a far-reaching corruption scandal that has also raised questions about the 2010 event in South Africa. “We fought in an honest manner (for the tournament) and we won. We do not think the decision should be questioned,” Putin told journalists on the sidelines of an investment forum in Saint Petersburg. “We were ready, and that’s what convinced FIFA. The stadium construction has already started,” he added. The head of FIFA’s auditing and compliance committee Domenico Scala this month warned Russia and Qatar could lose the right to host the the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if evidence is found of corruption in the bidding process. . Putin said that Russia supported the […]