World Cup 2018 to showcase Russia
The country's hosting of the tournament is an ambitious project costing $20 billion. Host cities will span the country from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains, AFP reports.
Organizing committee chief Alexei Sorokin said that the country still has to deal with some stereotypes lingering from the country's Soviet past. He said the successful hosting of the 2012 European football championships by the Ukraine will likely help Russia.
"Russia still suffers from the negative stereotypes from the past and we need to disprove this," Sorokin said, according to AFP. "We need to disprove it in reality not just in words.
"The Euro-2012 co-hosts Ukraine's image also suffered from the rumors. The ill-wishers said that Ukraine is a dangerous country with extraordinary high prices and urged people not to visit Ukraine's part of the event.
"We must pursue a pre-emptive tactic and do our best to avoid such claims."
Sorokin was confident that there would be no problems with accommodating teams and their supporters during the games.
"We also have a favorable forecast about the fans' accommodation as the private business showed serious interest," Sorokin said, according to AFP.
Sorokin said that there is a lot of work yet to do, including the construction of new stadiums, hotels and roads. Some of the matches will be held in cities that are more off the beaten path.
"We should have the most modern venues by 2018...This is a very hard task but we have no other choice but to fulfill it," Sorokin said, AFP reports. He also said the FIFA representatives have not issued a single complaint on how the organizing committee is preparing for the event.
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