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Russia wants to be the latest country to join the bidding for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. The world football governing body is promising an "objective and realistic" assessment of Russia's capability to stage the games, after an inspection of four potential host cities starting this week.
The six-member FIFA party landed in St. Petersburg on Monday, headed by Chilean Football Federation president Harold Mayne-Nicholls. The FIFA group plans to look at the construction site of the city's new arena on Krestovsky Island.
The team will then head to Moscow, to survey the Luzhniki Stadium. The five-star UEFA facility played host to the Champions League final in 2008, and if a Russian bid succeeds, it would stage the World Cup final match.
Vitaly Mutko, Committee Chairman for Russian Bid, said, "I want to note once again that we are determined and full of desire to invite the world football championship of 2018 to Russia and think that we will be up to the task. We will make sure the Commission has all the opportunities to study the chapters of the bid book, to check the readiness of the cities."