Russia unveil 11 host cities and 12 stadiums for 2018 World Cup
21:30 GMT, 29 September 2012
The 11 host cities for the 2018 World Cup in Russia have been announced.
The 64 matches in the tournament will
be staged at 12 different stadiums with Moscow being the only city with
two venues selected – those of Luzhniki, which hosted the 2008
Champions League final, and Spartak.
Groud design: A model of the new Zenit stadium in St.Petersburg
The other cities announced at a ceremony were Sochi, who will stage the 2014 Winter Olympics, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Ekaterinburg.
Of the 13 cities bidding for matches, Yaroslavl and Krasnodar were the ones to miss out.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: 'The announcement of the host cities is the first concrete step taken in the delivery of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
'They make a decisive contribution to the success of the most popular sporting event. We look forward to a productive partnership on our road to the first FIFA World Cup in Eastern Europe.'
Work in progress: The new Zenit stadium in St.Petersburg
He added: 'We are very pleased with the pace of the 2018 LOC (Local Organising Committee) from day one when they were awarded the hosting of the event in December 2010. Their achievements show their enthusiasm and commitment.'
Vitaly Mutko, Russian minister of sport and chairman of the Russia 2018 LOC, said: 'The final selection of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities is an important milestone en route to hosting the tournament in 2018.
'This decision launches the full-scale preparation for the FIFA World Cup in the 11 host cities across the country.'
Russia beat England and joint bids from Holland/Belgium and Spain/Portugal in December 2010 for the right to host the World Cup.