FIFA rates Russia's World Cup preparations 'good'

2017-10-05 17:15
SWC trophy (File)

Moscow - A top FIFA official on Thursday said world's football governing body was satisfied with Russia's World Cup preparations but warned a "significant" amount of work was still to be done.

"In general the state of readiness is good," Colin Smith, FIFA's director of competitions, told journalists in Moscow after an inspection of host cities.

But he cautioned: "There are still some risks and a significant amount of work to be done -- especially in the next two or three months" to finish all the infrastructure by the end of this year.

"We look forward to the test matches because ultimately that's the first opportunity we'll get to see the facilities in action," Smith added.

Smith, who heads the FIFA operational commission, said during the 10-day inspection tour his board had focused on the cities and venues that did not host matches for the Confederations Cup last summer.

"We've looked at the readiness of not only the stadiums but the host cities (as a) whole, so we looked at the training sites, hotels, airports and the general road infrastructure."

The FIFA commission boss dismissed security fears, arguing that the Russian organisers' security strategy had passed a serious test during the Confederations Cup.

"For the World Cup there's a detailed security concept in place," Smith said.

"We saw it was very well implemented during the Confederations Cup where no incidents were noted.

"The vast majority of the fans that will come to the World Cup are here to celebrate, to party and to have a good time," Smith said.

"But if anyone comes with the other intentions than that's why the security plans are in place to ensure that it doesn't negatively impact on anyone."

Smith also said FIFA fully backed the Russian authorities' plans to issue an official identity document called a FanID to all those attending World Cup matches.

The FanID gives supporters visa-free entry to Russia as well as some free travel between cities hosting games and free use of municipal public transport on matchdays.

The World Cup will be played between June 14 and July 15 at 12 venues in 11 cities -- Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

Read more on:    fifa  |  swc 2018  |  soccer


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