Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is rushing to Zurich to meet FIFA officials following Russia winning the bid to host World Cup in 2018.
In his first reaction of the victory of Russian bid, Putin said he will meet with FIFA members to jointly celebrate, state-run Vesti FM radio reported.
Earlier, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said that the Prime Minister will immediately fly to Zurich if Russia wins the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
Yesterday in an interview to CNN’s Larry King, Putin announced that he would not join the Russian delegation in Switzerland as he did not want to put pressure on the FIFA executives making the decision.
England, Portugal and Spain (jointly), and Belgium and the Netherlands (jointly) were the other candidates bidding to hold one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar.
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov was leading the Russian delegation in Zurich.
Russia has offered to hold World Cup events in 13 cities of the country including Moscow, St Petersburg and Kazan – the capital of Tatarstan in Volga region.
Kazan is already preparing for the University Games - Universiad 2013 and new most modern stadium with 45 thousand seats is under construction there.
Yesterday, ahead of today’s FIFA vote, a non-stop 2013 minute football match was played in Kazan by the officials and sportsmen including children, symbolising the 2013 University Games as a next step for the 2018 World Cup.
The game ended just an hour before the results were announced in Zurich.