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FIFA makes revenue-boosting change to World Cup sponsorship rules

November 28 - FIFA has modified its World Cup sponsorship rules by changing the "national supporter" category to "continental supporter" – starting with the 2018 event in Russia.

The revenue-boosting change means that the third-tier FIFA sponsorship will be open to companies on the same continent rather than firms exclusively from the host country.

Brazil 2014 has five national supporters – trade and investment agency Apex-Brasil, São Paulo -based bank Itaú Unibanco, insurance company Liberty Seguros, chocolate manufacturer Chocolates Garoto and English-language school Wise Up.

"We have changed from national to continental," said Jérôme Valcke, FIFA secretary general.

"Russia is in Europe so any company in Europe [can be a third-tier sponsor] whereas in the past it would have just been Russian companies only...so it will make it easier to sell sponsorships at the third level."


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Russia drawing up major infrastructure programme for 2018

(LOC) Friday 30 November 2012


Vitaly Mutko, chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and Russia's Sports Minister, held a series of meetings in Moscow 27-30 November with the heads of all 11 regions which will be hosting matches during Russia 2018.

The meetings were attended by the heads of regional ministries involved in preparations for the tournament, the chief executives of city councils, experts from the Russia 2018 LOC and representatives of the relevant federal ministries and government departments.

The aim of the meetings was to draw up an exact list of the facilities to be included in the investment programme which will provide funds to develop the infrastructure required for the tournament.

The list of facilities included in the investment programme includes stadiums, training sites, team bases, airports, road infrastructure, hotels, security infrastructure, public utility and medical infrastructure, communications and information technology infrastructure, environmental facilities and the facilities required for the fan festivals. In total, the preliminary list for the investment programme covers around 1,000 facilities.

The final list of facilities which will receive funds under the investment programme will be submitted to the Russian government for its consideration.

The investment programme is scheduled to be approved in the spring of 2013.

"We've got a lot of work to do to put the infrastructure in place by the 2018 World Cup," Mutko told the meeting in his welcoming address.

"Delivering this programme successfully will guarantee a massive legacy in the form of modern sports, transport and general infrastructure for many generations of Russians.

But making sure that the infrastructure is used effectively once the tournament is over is something we need to concern ourselves with right now, while the facilities are still being planned and designed," he added.

In selecting facilities and projects for inclusion in the investment programme, specialists from the Ministry of Sport and the Russia 2018 LOC focused on striking a balance between considerations of cost, tournament quality and legacy.

As a result, the designs for the stadiums in some of the host cities will be based on using prefabricated structures, in order to meet the capacity requirements for the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums.

These structures will be dismantled once the tournament is over, so that stadium capacities can be reduced to reflect the requirements of the host cities.

The same approach will be applied to the reconstruction of airports in a number of cities. In order to ensure the required throughout capacity, organisers are considering using temporary passenger terminals.

At the same time, the host cities will draw on the experience of organisers of other major other sporting events which took a similar approach to infrastructure development.

In particular, as part of the 'Observer' programme, representatives of the Russian host cities visited Kharkiv during UEFA EURO 2012 in order to study arrangements for a temporary terminal at the local airport.

The development of a major investment programme was one of the most important outcomes of 2012 for all those taking part in preparations for Russia 2018, along with the announcement of the host cities for the tournament.

The investment programme to develop the infrastructure required for Russia 2018 will help make the tournament as successful as possible.

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Russia 2018: A dream taking shape

(FIFA.com) Sunday 2 December 2012



Two years ago, on 2 December 2010, the FIFA Executive Committee made a historic decision, awarding Russia the right to host the 2018 FIFA World CupTM.

For the first time in over 80 years since its first edition, the planet’s most important football tournament will be taking place in the world’s largest country, adding momentum to the game’s development across an area of more than 17 million square kilometres.

The euphoria which followed the Russian bid’s triumph has been replaced by an appreciation of the scale of the work that needs to be done in order to achieve what is an ambitious goal: staging a FIFA World Cup.

The first significant step on the path to hosting FIFA’s showpiece event was the naming of the tournament’s Host Cities. The announcement was made live on television during an eye-catching ceremony on 29 September. The whole country looked on as FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the programme’s other guests named the cities that will be staging matches at Russia 2018. The ceremony was accompanied by jubilation and celebratory fireworks in all the cities, clear evidence of the sense of anticipation that people are feeling about the huge festival of football set to take place in Russia in 2018.

One of those special guests was Brazilian legend and Korea/Japan 2002 winner Roberto Carlos, who had this to say of the experience: “Taking part in the ceremony where the list of the Host Cities for the World Cup was announced was one of my brightest memories from the past year. I was touched by how Russia’s people came together in support of the idea of hosting the tournament.

"The people who came along that evening to take part in the celebrations were so full of genuine joy and warmth that I was left in no doubt: Russia will stage a wonderful tournament for admirers of football from right round the world. I’ve been living and working here for almost two years now, and in that time Russia has become my second home.”

In our country we have such hospitable and warm-hearted people that I am in no doubt: Russia will stage the best World Cup in history.Igor Akinfeev

That evening, among the multitude of guests taking part in the ceremony were two young heroes who can genuinely say that they too contributed to that historic victory in Zurich on 2 December 2010. Twin brothers Artem and Maxim Shpinev, who played the role of Sasha Denisov in the Russian bid’s 'Sasha, wake up!' clip, had a central role in what was a very important event on the road to Russia 2018. The boys helped some of the other people taking part in the ceremony to announce the Host Cities. But in their hearts, just like thousands of other boys right across the country, what they are hoping for is to be playing in the planet’s most important football tournament.

“It was really cool to be on the same stage as President Blatter, Roberto Carlos and Fabio Capello,” said Artem. “We even managed to get their autographs as mementoes. Now we’re dreaming we’ll have the chance to get the autographs of our favourite footballers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, when they’re here in Russia for the World Cup.

"Even better than that would be to be playing for Russia in 2018 ourselves. By that time, we’ll both be exactly 17. To be honest, sometimes we even dream that we’re stepping out on to the pitch at Luzhniki wearing the national team shirt. Just like that clip with Sasha."

Preparations for Russia 2018 are still at a very early stage, with the tournament almost six years away, but FIFA has already handed the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) exclusive privileges regarding the use of FIFA World Cup branding. Russia has become the tournament’s first host nation to use a temporary FIFA World Cup emblem before the launch of the tournament’s official logo, scheduled for the second half of 2014.

In addition, for the first time in FIFA World Cup history, the Host Cities have launched official posters at such an early stage. In decorating the posters with images such as a winged snow leopard, a mythical bird, a stone flower and multi-coloured waves lapping at the walls of the Kremlin, the Host Cities have displayed their identity and individuality, while preserving a united passion for football.

The temporary Russia 2018 emblem and the posters produced by the tournament’s Host Cities are designed to create a FIFA World Cup atmosphere early on while preparations are in progress, and to give supporters and indeed all Russians the chance to get a sense of how the tournament is drawing closer. An opinion poll commissioned by the Russia 2018 LOC and carried out by VTsIOM in 42 of the country’s regions suggested that Russians are following preparations for the FIFA World Cup with interest. Almost two-thirds of Russians, 65 per cent of those surveyed, are aware to at least some extent that Russia is preparing to host the world’s largest sporting event in 2018. Moreover, 89 per cent of those polled believe that our country will be able to organise and stage a successful tournament.

“The World Cup is more than just 64 matches featuring the planet’s best national teams; it’s about the unbeatable atmosphere created by fans and volunteers, and the people living in the host cities,” said Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, who was the first Russia 2018 ambassador to be appointed. The 26-year-old enthused that “as a Russia 2018 ambassador, I believe my main mission is to engage as many of Russia’s football supporters as possible in the preparations for this awesome event. In our country we have such hospitable and warm-hearted people that I am in no doubt: Russia will stage the best World Cup in history.”

2012 saw the start of full-scale preparations for FIFA’s flagship event. In March, the Russia 2018 LOC set up 'Arena-2018', a specialist organisation which will monitor and advise on stadium design and construction. The organisation will be making sure that the deadlines and successive stages of the design, construction and reconstruction of stadiums are met, and that FIFA’s requirements are observed. With six years still to go until the tournament, five stadiums are already being built – the arenas in Kazan, Saint Petersburg, Saransk and Sochi, and Spartak Moscow’s stadium. Work on the design of four arenas, in Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don, will begin before the end of the year.

Also optimistic about Russia 2018 and the benefit it would have on the national game was the president of the Russian Football Union Nikolay Tolstykh, who had this to say: “Russian football is developing dynamically, and that’s something that lots of fans and specialists right around the world have pointed out. We have a strong national team, talented youngsters and competitive clubs. And there’s no doubt that staging the 2018 World Cup will help Russian football move to a fundamentally new level. There’ll be modern sports infrastructure, in the form of new stadiums, training sites and team bases.

"Football will attract young specialists who, thanks to the World Cup, will already have experience of taking part in competition at the very highest level. In that sense, there isn’t any other event which brings as many benefits as the World Cup can bring. And it’s nice to see such effective work from the Russia 2018 LOC, which has a superb and productive relationship with the Russian Football Union.”

Russia’s national team coach Fabio Capello, who has begun the qualification cycle for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with four confident victories, was equally enthusiastic about the potential benefits of Russia 2018. “The World Cup will provide major opportunities for the development of football in Russia. And I’m not just talking about new sports infrastructure, although of course that’s extremely important as a foundation for securing important victories. I’m talking about the national team putting on a successful performance in front of their supporters. The work to build that team is already under way, on the road to the 2014 World Cup. And as the manager of the national team, I can see a lot of potential in our young players, many of whom are capable of playing a leading role in the team in 2018,” he said.

This year, experts from the Russia 2018 LOC have been involved in drawing up a list of the facilities to be included in the investment programme which will provide funds to develop the infrastructure required for the tournament. This programme will help make the tournament as successful as possible and ensure there is a legacy for many generations of Russians to come.

From the moment tournament preparations began, the Russia 2018 LOC has been receiving huge support from the Russian government. The drawing-up of draft federal legislation on the FIFA World Cup provides evidence of this support. In late September, the bill was tabled for consideration by the State Duma and was passed in its first reading.

“The opening match of the World Cup is still five-and-a-half years away, but the LOC and the host cities are already engaged in preparing for the tournament, said the CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC Alexey Sorokin. “We have a full understanding of FIFA’s requirements in terms of World Cup infrastructure and operations. We are set to examine other countries’ experiences of hosting major events, in particular the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, both of which will be taking place in Brazil. Time is one of our advantages, and we intend to make use of it to put together a World Cup which will make all of Russia’s football fans proud,” he added, in summing up the LOC’s work in 2012.

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Russia to spend billions to please fans at World Cup 2018



Leisure of Russian football fans will be organized for 3 billion rubles. This is the amount the Russian Ministry of Sports proposed to allocate for a program that would allow uniting the fans in different Russian cities during matches of the World Football Championship in 2018. The money would be spent on creation of fan zones - sites where championship games would be broadcast.

It is planned to build these zones on the entire territory of Russia with the exception of Far East region where they are unlikely to attract attention of fans given the time difference and, respectively, inconvenience with matches broadcasting. The fan zones will be organized under the auspices of FIFA.

The sum of 3 billion rubles requested for the initiative is significant. For comparison, for acquisition of equipment for quickly erectable sports facilities on the entire territory of Russia in 2013 the federal budget allocated the sum that is almost twice as small - 1,7 billion rubles. However, organizers believe that the expenses for construction of fan zones would be fully recouped at the expense of sale of souvenirs and beer on their territory. It appears that the organizers expect the main income from beer sales.

Despite the fact that since 2005 sale of beer, as well as other alcohol beverages, is prohibited in all sports facilities of the RF, this fall before FIFA World Cup-2018 it was planned to reconsider this ban. The officials want to bring beer back to stadiums and mass sports actions. The rules of FIFA allow sale of beer in fan zones. Another issue discussed at this time is whether fans should pay an entrance fee to access fan zones. On the one hand, this would help to substantially increase profits, but on the other hand, this would adversely impact attendance of fan zones.

Meanwhile, their popularity is very important for the organizers. After all, its main goal is not the economic benefit, but the decrease of level of fan aggression during the Championship. The idea to gather fans in one place and give them access to beer, at first glance, seems ambiguous. However, the consensus is that FIFA has had positive experience in this regard. The football federation has ample experience of creating such fan zones around the world. Incidentally, in terms of profitability they are second only to the sale of tickets to the matches, Izvestiya reported quoting the president of the public movement "All-Russia fan association," Alexander Shprygin.

"For the development of the game, for its popularization, it is really good. Such a step as creation of fan zones will promote popularization of football," a Soviet and Russian football coach, two-time winner of the title "The Best trainer of Russia" Gadji Gadjiev told "Pravda.Ru." "As for aggression that may manifest itself during these games, I would only worry about such possibility if our team was playing. If we broadcast games, for example, between Italy and France, then there is no point to fear aggression."

In order to prevent emergencies and manifestations of aggression, Gadjiev recommended that the organizers and law enforcement bodies conduct preventive and educational trainings, as well as take into account positive experience of foreign countries.

"In England they managed to do it," he reminded. "We remember that the aggressive English audience was disqualified for three years from all international club competitions. This served as a good lesson. Look at the fans now: full stadiums and a hundred percent order."

The only serious violation during mass broadcasts of football matches in the RF took place in 2002. Then on Manege Square in Moscow during the games between Russia and Japan mass riots ensued. According to law enforcement officials, seven to eight thousand people participated in these riots, 75 people were injured, 49 hospitalized. In addition, there were mass cases of vandalism: 107 damaged cars, several damaged trolleybuses, 36 broken shop windows and other damages. Hopefully, creation of fan zones for World Cup-2018 will not lead to similar results in Russian cities.

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2018 World Cup Stadium in Rostov, Russia / Populous


Populous, architects of the London 2012 Olympic stadium, Sochi 2014 Olympic stadium and Soccer City 2010 World Cup stadium, have been selected as designers of the new Rostov Stadium. This will be the fourth stadium that Populous has designed in Russia to be used for the 2018 World Cup, together with Kazan, Saransk, Sochi.

In September 2012 the eleven host cities that will organise the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia were announced. The sixty-four matches will be staged at twelve venues. Among the host cities are: Moscow, being the only city with two stadiums selected, Saint Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Yekaterinburg.

Part of an overall landscape, this urban design is planned for the whole region. It is inspired by the ancient earthworks along the banks of the river, the Kurgans. These archaeological mounds of earth were used for burial pagan rituals, creating major forms in the landscape.

The stadium will have a capacity of 45,000 seats for the World Cup and will be scaled down to 25,000 seats in legacy. The concept had embraced sustainable credentials, as it will be the core of a green city project, which protects the wetlands to the south of the river.

Damon Lavelle, Principal at Populous, commented “It’s been a pleasure to work with Intex, the city and the governor of Rostov-on-Don to promote the project. After our experience on the World Cup in 2010 and London 2012, we are certain that the stadium will be a great catalyst for the city and this part of the river.“



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Kaliningrad World Cup Stadium Design to Cost $28M


KALININGRAD, Russia, December 12 (R-Sport) - Design work for 45,000-seater World Cup 2018 stadium in the Russian Baltic city of Kaliningrad is to cost 849.8 million rubles ($27.8 million), the regional government said Wednesday.

Kaliningrad, near the border with Poland, is the westernmost of the 11 host cities for the tournament and has also been tipped to hold games if Russia’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup is a success.

The winning bidder in a tender to design the stadium is Siberian firm Mostovik, which offered to do the job at 17.5 percent under the price demanded by the government and in 525 days, below the government limit of 700 days.

The stadium is to be reduced to 25,000 after the 2018 World Cup and will include conference centers and hotels in the stadium complex.

No date for the start of construction has been set.

The Kaliningrad stadium is set to cost less for design work than the arena in Nizhny Novgorod, where the regional government inked a $30 million deal in October.

It is slightly under the $29 million design tender for the new arena in Samara.

Most of the stadiums in provincial Russian cities are to be built from scratch, while those in Moscow and St. Petersburg use either existing facilities of stadiums being built for top Russian clubs.

Last month, a planned arena in Samara was relocated away from the Volga river because of flood protection laws.


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Russia 2018 to start and finish at Luzhniki Stadium


On 14 December 2012, at their latest meeting in Tokyo, the FIFA Executive Committee approved the Hosting Concept for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, with both the Opening Match and Final set to be played at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The legendary arena will thus join an elite list of stadiums that have hosted both matches at world football's greatest competition.

Since Luzhniki Stadium was first opened in 1956, it has hosted a number of international sports events, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1980 Olympic Games, the 2008 UEFA Champions League final and the world championships of a variety of sports. The arena will be closed for major renovation work in August 2013, before re-opening five years later to reveal its new image to visitors to Russia 2018.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Hosting Concept approved by the FIFA Executive Committee stipulates that Luzhniki will also host one of the tournament’s semi-finals, while the other will be played in St Petersburg.

The future stadium in St Petersburg, which is under construction on Krestovsky Island, will host the opening match and the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 - according to the FIFA Executive Committee’s decision. The three other venues set to host matches at Russia 2017 are Spartak Moskva's arena and stadiums in Kazan and Sochi.

"The approval of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Hosting Concept is an important decision that gives the competitions real shape. We anticipate a big and exciting job organizing a FIFA World Cup that will start a new page in the history of Russian and world football," said Aleksey Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organising Committee, after the FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Tokyo.


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Byrom plc. appointed as official accommodation agency for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

(FIFA.com) Friday 14 December 2012
FIFA is pleased to announce the appointment of Byrom plc. as its official accommodation agency for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia following an open public tender process conducted by FIFA. In total, 18 companies from Australia, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the UK showed an interest in the public tender, with five entities from France, Poland, the UK and Switzerland submitting an offer to FIFA.
The tender process took more than 12 months.
“Following an extensive review of the excellent documentation submitted by all bidders, we believe that Byrom plc., with its vast experience in major sporting events, offers the best match to meet our needs in setting up the accommodation project for the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” explained FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
Byrom plc. acted as FIFA’s official accommodation agency for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and will perform the same role for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Byrom has been involved in, and assumed various responsibilities for, a number of major sporting events, including all FIFA World Cups since 1994 as well as other major FIFA Eevents since 1998, all Ryder Cups since 1997, the Commonwealth Games in 1998, the Asian Cup in 1996, and the Pan-American Games in 2007.
Enrique Byrom, CEO of Byrom plc., commented: “We are delighted and honoured at by our appointment as the official accommodation agency for these prestigious FIFA events. Byrom plc. is committed to continuing to use our considerable experience and expertise in the accommodation services sector to support FIFA, and the various stakeholders in Russia, in their efforts to achieve sustainable tourism legacy objectives.”
The mandate includes the evaluation of the available hotel room inventory, verification of existing hotel contracts already in place for the events, rate negotiations on the Russian market, the procurement of additional or alternative accommodation inventory, the management and non-exclusive sale of the existing accommodation inventory, the allocation and sale of accommodation inventory to FIFA and certain national and international customer groups of FIFA, and the provision of related services to FIFA and its customer groups prior to and during the above-mentioned competitions.
The overriding aim is to ensure the highest possible occupancy rate for hotels and enhance cooperation across the hotel and tourism industry in the host country. At the same time, FIFA also aims to ensure fair rates on reasonable terms to make this these events accessible to as many visitors as possible, thus contributing to the overall legacy by portraying Russia as an attractive travel destination beyond 2018.
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FIFA Approves Stadium Relocation


MOSCOW, December 17 (R-Sport) – FIFA has approved the relocation of the 2018 World Cup stadium in the Russian city of Samara, the international football body said Monday.

The decision to change the site for the 45,000-seater arena was taken last month after the project had been considered too expensive.

The venue, originally planned to be built on an island, will be erected near a major highway and the airport in Samara, a city of 1.17 million about 870 kilometers east of Moscow.

The start of construction is scheduled for 2014.



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the guardian:


The arrival of the Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, right, has angered some factions of the Zenit St Petersburg support. Photograph: Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA

The largest fan group of Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg has demanded the club refrain from buying black and gay players.

"We're not racists but we see the absence of black players at Zenit as an important tradition," Zenit fan club Landscrona said in a letter, called the "Selection 12 manifesto", posted on its website on Monday.

"It would allow Zenit to maintain the national identity of the club, which is the symbol of St Petersburg."

Zenit have been the only top club in Russia to have never signed an African player while the northern city of St Petersburg is known to have a strong right-wing nationalist influence.

The fans said they want more home-grown or European players in the team. "We only want players from other brotherly Slav nations, such as Ukraine and Belarus as well as from the Baltic states and Scandinavia. We have the same mentality and historical and cultural background as these nations," the letter said.

They also expressed their opposition to having "sexual minorities" in the team. Several prominent black players have turned down lucrative offers from the wealthy club over the past 12 months after receiving death threats from Zenit fans. A Zenit spokesman said on Monday the club would not comment on the fans' letter.

The former Zenit and Russia striker Alexander Panov said the fans have no right to influence the club's selection policy. "If we don't have enough good players from St Petersburg, then what should the club do?" he said.

"All clubs around the world have black players. If they are absent from Zenit – it's Zenit's problem. I don't think fans should demand the club buy or don't buy certain players. The fans have the right to go to the stadium or stay home."

Zenit have been in turmoil for the past few months with several senior players unhappy after the wealthy club splashed out more than £60m on the Brazil forward Hulk and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel just before the transfer deadline.

Zenit demoted the Russia captain Igor Denisov to the reserve team in September after he refused to play, issuing an ultimatum to renegotiate his contract in line with what Hulk was making. Denisov was later allowed to rejoin the first team after making an apology.

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Happy New Year!
(LOC) Monday 24 December 2012

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) would like to wish all friends and fans of football a heartfelt Happy New Year. On behalf of the LOC team, we would like to thank everyone who has shown an interest and played their part in preparations for what will be the first tournament in FIFA’s history to take place in the world’s largest country. Russia is ready to amaze the world in 2018 by staging an unforgettable festival of football for all followers of this beautiful game.

In the new year, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will begin to take shape: the first stadiums will be handed over in Kazan and Sochi; design work for the new arenas will get under way; federal legislation on the staging of the FIFA World Cup in Russia will be passed and work will begin on the tournament’s official branding.

We would like to offer all members of the footballing family our sincere best wishes in fulfilling their aspirations and achieving their goals.

Very best wishes

The Russia 2018 LOC


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  • 3 weeks later...
Sport-Russia toughens law against match-fixersd0c3eb8ca18907492a4b337b5cec5193.jpeg

Reuters – Wed, Jan 9, 2013 7:52 AM EST

MOSCOW, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Match-fixers in Russia could face seven years in jail under new legislation submitted to the state parliament by President Vladimir Putin.

The new law bans officials and players from betting on sports events they are participating in. Offenders also face fines of up to one million roubles ($33,000), according to documents in parliament's database made public on Wednesday.

Widespread match-fixing and corruption are rife in Russian sport, experts say, as the country prepares to host several major events including the 2014 Winter Olympics and soccer's World Cup in 2018. However, rarely has anyone been convicted or brought to trial.

Last month, Russian soccer chiefs opened an investigation into November's match featuring Amkar Perm and their wealthy Premier League rivals Anzhi Makhachkala after it was reported that several former Amkar players had bet large sums of money against their former team.

Anzhi scored a last-minute goal to win the game 2-1 but soccer officials said they found no evidence of match-fixing.

Only one team, second division Iriston Vladikavkaz, have been found guilty of attempted match-fixing. They were thrown out of the league in 1997 but later reinstated in a lower division.

FIFPro, the global union for professional players, published a survey of nearly 3,400 players from eastern Europe this year that said match-fixing in Russia was as high as 43.5 percent.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he hoped the new law would help police to bring the criminal element to justice.

"It's a very serious document which gets the law-enforcement officials involved in solving this problem first-hand," Mutko, who also heads the 2018 World Cup local organising committee, was quoted as saying by local outlet R-Sport on Wednesday.

However, the president of the country's bookmakers' association was sceptical about the new measures.

"There's nothing wrong with this new law but the main aim should be to try to eradicate match-fixing, not the bookmakers," Oleg Zhuravsky was quoted as saying by local media.

"But many paragraphs in it simply create more headaches for us instead of trying to fight corrupt officials." ($1 = 30.3142 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by Clare Fallon)


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Don't you love sentences that start like that!

I'm black and I don't see a problem with that. They want to keep a tradition. They want the club to still represent their region, and there are no blacks there, even if it's to their own detriment (there are a **** load of great black players).

Athletic Bilbao, in Spain, only allow Basque players (it was relaxed recently) and people still don't call them racists(and they are for other reasons) and if the next world cup was in Spain people wouldn't bring that up on a similar thread. It happens all over the world.

Now what they did to Hulk was trashy. But the club owners should respect their tradition.

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**** happens? Quite the contrary. I'm saying there's NOTHING WRONG about a comunity wanting to keep their culture intact (and football is as important as life/death in some comunitties).

If they don't harm others I don't see how that's a problem. I'm part of a "minority", you are also (you're homossexual, right?) but we gotta accept that others may not like us like I don't like a lot of people and you seem to be the same. (you don't like people that defend the rights of the most important minority: THE INDIVIDUAL. You have the right to not like me and people like me as long you do not do things to harm me either psychologically or physically.

I have nothing against the act of their community not wanting their president to hire black players. Their decision. Their loss.

BUT after their president hired such a player then they shall keep it to themselves and only criticize and bash their own manager not the black player. He did nothing wrong (except being stupid enough to go to a community that don't like people like him). Because that would harm that player physically and emotionally. (they did that and I criticized them, btw)

Just like basque people are racists (for other reasons) and I still used their example.

People have the right to not like homos, sadomasochists, midgets, blacks, skinny, fat people, etc. Once you learn that you'll improve as a human being.

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Putin, Blatter Discuss 2018 World Cup

15:57 19.01.2013 (Last updated 17:20 19.01.2013)


© RIA Novosti. Ilya Pitalev

MOSCOW, January 19 (R-Sport) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA head Sepp Blatter met Satruday to discuss Russia’s preparations for hosting the 2018 World Cup, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Saturday.

The pair shared their views “on current events connected to the preparations for the football World Cup in Russia,” Peskov said, without providing further details.

Blatter is in Russia to visit the Commonwealth Cup in St. Petersburg, an under-21 tournament for post-Soviet states.

“With the FIFA World Cup 2018, it's people from the entire world who will gather, because football is more than a game,” Blatter said in Friday in Russian in comments carried on the FIFA website.

FIFA Happy With 2018 World Cup Progress - Valcke

20:23 19.01.2013 (Last updated 22:55 19.01.2013)


© RIA Novosti.

JOHANNESBURG, January 19 (R-Sport) - FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has told R-Sport that football’s governing body is satisfied that preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia remain on track.

Recent months have seen design tenders launched for many of the stadiums that will be built from scratch, but also ongoing problems about the delays and soaring costs of the semifinal venue in St. Petersburg.

“We have had a discussion about the current state of the construction of the stadiums in Russia,” Valcke said.

“So far, all the construction fits the plans. We understands that it is, by definition, a long process.”

Matches will be held at 12 stadiums in 11 cities, with two stadiums in Moscow. The capital’s Luzhniki stadium is to host the final after extensive rebuilding work in the coming years.

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People have the right to not like homos, sadomasochists, midgets, blacks, skinny, fat people, etc. Once you learn that you'll improve as a human being.

Okay. I gotcha. If you're minority, people will hate you, but just put up with it and don't ever try to speak up for yourself, rectify things or educate people.


Edited by Sir Rols
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Preparations take centre stage in St Petersburg

(FIFA.com) Sunday 20 January 2013



St Petersburg played host to the first news conference this year to give leading figures from world and Russian football the opportunity to answer questions from journalists about preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter

On the work of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC)

I spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he confirmed that he was pleased with the LOC’s work.

On the sanctions that may be imposed on fans for bad behaviour and displays of racism

Because of the bad behaviour of fans, particularly where racism and discrimination are concerned, we have to impose strict punishments if nothing changes.

We are organising anti-discrimination and anti-racism seminars right around the world. We won’t stop talking about this.

Discrimination exists in society, and football is a victim of that discrimination.

If the penalty is purely financial, then it won’t work, because money will always be found to pay that penalty.

Playing matches behind closed doors is not a particularly good solution. Football is for the fans.

We could deduct points or relegate teams. We’ll discuss these issues in three weeks’ time in Zurich, at the next meeting of the Strategic Committee.

More than 300 million people are part of FIFA, and that’s more than the population of the world’s largest country – Russia.

We can’t answer for everyone all at the same time, but we’re working on this problem.

Vitaly Mutko, Russian Sports Minister and Chairman of the Russia 2018 LOC

On monitoring construction of stadiums for Russia 2018

The Russia 2018 LOC has set up a special organisation, Arena-2018. It’s got nothing to do with contractors or commissioners, it’s financed by the LOC.

In conjunction with Arena-2018, we are already carrying out extremely close monitoring to make sure that stadium designs comply with FIFA requirements, and that the construction work is of the required quality and that all the deadlines are met.

Once every three months, Arena-2018 will be compiling a monitoring report on stadium construction, and that will be submitted to the chairman of the LOC’s Supervisory Council, in other words the Russian President, and all the other senior figures responsible for preparations for the tournament.

Each commissioner will sign an agreement with Arena-2018 which will set out tough deadlines, and that will be underpinned by a government ordinance.

On the timetable for the construction of the stadium in St Petersburg

In April we will agree the final timetable for the construction of the stadium in St Petersburg. Our monitoring of the arena’s construction will be very rigorous.

On the stadiums which will be hosting matches at Russia 2018

All the stadiums which are being readied in advance of the FIFA World Cup in 2018 must be built for the same price.

Our prototype of sorts will be the stadium in Kazan, which will have a capacity of 45,000 and will cost around 12 billion roubles for a turn-key finish.

That stadium will be very high-tech and will meet all FIFA requirements. On 1 March, it will be made available for use and will come under the control of the Organising Committee for the Universiade.

To design the stadiums, we’ll be recruiting the very best companies, in agreement with FIFA – companies that have worked in Germany, South Africa and Brazil.

By the end of the year, we’ll announce a tender for the construction work for at least two stadiums.

On the State Duma passing a law on the 2018 FIFA World Cup

In December, the FIFA Executive Committee reviewed preparations for three World Cups – in Brazil, Russia and Qatar.

They use a 100-point evaluation system, and we scored 112.

This doesn’t mean that we’re absolutely ready right now, but we’re setting a good pace.

Parliament is currently considering a piece of legislation which would provide all the guarantees required for us to host the World Cup.

Our expectation is that sometime this year, or even during this session, the State Duma will pass the law along with the amendments.

This law will set in stone the obligations which the Russian Federation has assumed in terms of the preparations for and staging of the World Cup.

Between now and April 2013, based on instructions from the Russian President, we are drawing up a government ordinance, which will include a list of the investment projects and actions that need to be taken ahead of the World Cup, as well as an approximation of the resources available in each host city.

Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC

On eradicating racism inside stadiums in the run-up to Russia 2018

I can assure you that, in the very near future, in conjunction with the Russian Football Union, the LOC will introduce initiatives designed to eradicate displays of racism.

FIFA takes a very tough line on this, and our stance also has to be tough.

On rebuilding the Luzhniki stadium

The stadiums can be divided into those that are already being built and those where the design work has only just started.

We’re waiting for the contract on Luzhniki to be signed. In all other respects, the designers have already made their decisions and the process is under way.

Will they rebuild Luzhniki? There are several options, several solutions.

We’ll find out once and for all how the project is to be implemented once the contract and the technical requirements have been signed.

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