Russia shows it's ready for the 2018 World Cup

Russia shows it's ready for the 2018 World Cup

Russia received far more praise than complaints from FIFA and the teams that competed in the Confederations Cup ahead of the much more daunting task of hosting 32 teams at next year's World Cup.

The country exceeded low expectations for its hosting of the eight-team tournament that ended on Sunday, a World Cup dress rehearsal which passed off without any major incidents of fan violence or problems with infrastructure.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino hailed the four-venue tournament as a "great success" after shrugging off the logistical and security concerns that had cast a shadow over Russia's preparations.

"We have been hearing before this Confederations Cup about a lot of problems that we would experience here in Russia," Infantino told a news conference, listing fan indifference, stadium violence, racism and incomplete infrastructure among the potential issues.

"We had no incidents. If a problematic tournament looks like this tournament, then I want many of these problematic tournaments going ahead."

The Confederations Cup took place in four cities, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi, all of which already have solid sports infrastructure and a history of hosting major international events.

The country now has to pull together eight additional World Cup venues in seven other cities, including some with limited experience of organising large-scale events.

Russia must also be ready to accommodate four times as many teams, as well as the large crowds that will flock to the country for the tournament.

Russian authorities have pledged to draw conclusions from the Confederations Cup but have yet to outline the areas that need improvement ahead of the World Cup.

"Everything will be exponentially more difficult (for the World Cup)," TASS news agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko as saying on Monday.
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