Home > Sport > Football
Tuesday July 15, 2014 MYT 1:27:02 AM
Tuesday July 15, 2014 MYT 1:27:51 AM
by mike collett
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter threw an unexpected seed of doubt into Russia's preparations for the 2018 World Cup on Monday when he said that FIFA will discuss the possibility of reducing the number of stadiums to be used there in four years time.
Two days after Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko gave media detailed background about Russia's plans for their World Cup which involves 12 stadiums in 11 cities, Blatter implied that they could be re-examined.
"It's a footballing country but we will have meetings there in September to see if 12 is the right number and even if they could be reduced to 10."
His comments came as a complete surprise to Alexei Sorokin, the chief executive officer of the Russian Organising Committee who told reporters: "This is the first I have heard about it, we know nothing about this."
Blatter, speaking at his final media briefing following Germany’s win over Argentina in Sunday's final, said a FIFA delegation will visit Russia to discuss plans for their finals in September.
Blatter described the Brazil World Cup as "very very special" giving it a mark of 9.25 out of 10 but said he was troubled that it cost in the region of $11 billion (6.44 billion pound)to stage.
"It’s obvious the World Cup has taken such a dimension that the organisation is a hard work for the organising country and also for the FIFA," he said.
"FIFA is looking at 2018 now and we are in discussions on what is the ideal number for the organisation and to keep it in such a manner that it’s feasible, reasonable and controllable.
"We are not going to be in a situation as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums," Blatter said.
Russia president Vladimir Putin was in Rio for Sunday's World Cup final and held talks with Blatter while he was in the Brazil capital.
Mutko told reporters on Saturday that the country had allocated $20 billion - $9 billion more than Brazil - to staging the tournament.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
Russia World Cup not under discussion, says Blatter
Russia says rejects FIFA plea to cut World Cup venues
Russia, Ukraine might be kept apart in 2018 - FIFA
Russia will still stage World Cup despite racist incidents
FIFA committed to 2018 World Cup in Russia
Best is yet to come from Chelsea, says Mourinho
Harimau must tame em' Lions at their den
Europa success fuelling Everton ambition
Bayern turnover tops half a billion euros
Shaw out for Manchester United, Falcao and Rojo could return
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Om...Deepak Chopra releases immersive meditation app
Top 10 ways to recognise if your loved one is suffering from mental problems
Youngsters gain valuable insight into basketball
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)