FIFA pick 11 Russian cities to host 2018 World Cup
Moscow: World football body FIFA and Russia jointly announced 11 cities to host the 2018 World Cup.
In a live TV broadcast show Saturday, the host cities were picked up from 13 candidates, they were Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Sochi.
The southern city of Krasnodar and the central Yaroslavl were dropped from the candidate list. Earlier, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has warned that Yaroslavl had "several problems" that may kill its bid.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised message that hosting the World Cup was "good stimulator to boost the economy."
"More than anything, it`s a very good way to get young people involved in sports," Putin said.
The government would offer subsidies to support the transportation in the host cities, he promised.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter thanked Putin and other Russian officials for their supports, lauding that Russia`s preparation works were ahead of scheduled.
"I`m convinced that it will be a great success," Blatter said in televised comments.
Officials from FIFA and Russia, as well as Russian athletes, football stars and celebrities attended the announcement ceremony. Russia were awarded the right to host the 2018 World Cup in December, 2010.