Putin, FIFA head discuss World Cup preparations

2013-01-19 13:52:35 GMT2013-01-19 21:52:35(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

MOSCOW, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed preparations for the 2018 World Cup with FIFA head Joseph Blatter, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

During a telephone conversation with Blatter who was visiting Russia to attend the 21st CIS and Baltic Cup matches, Putin and the FIFA official exchanged opinions "on current aspects of preparations for the FIFA World Cup in Russia," Peskov said.

Blatter was to visit the Commonwealth Cup in St. Petersburg, an under-21 tournament for post-Soviet states. He has visited the tournaments since 1993, local media reported.

According to Putin, the FIFA president's presence at the CIS and Baltic Cup "adds authority to this tournament," Peskov said.

Commenting on the 2018 game, Blatter said Friday the football championship would bring people from the entire world together, because "football is more than a game."

11 Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, are to host the 2018 soccer World Cup. Russia pledged to hold a high quality championships with full-scale preparation works.

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