MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday the venues due to host the 2018 World Cup soccer championship were overall in a satisfactory condition, but there were some delays.
“These delays are not critical, there is nothing terrible there, but as I have always said … it is the most difficult thing to resolve tasks at a final stage,” Putin told a meeting with senior sports officials, governors and prominent sportsmen to discuss preparations for the World Cup.
“If we relax, we will not fully accomplish the work.”
Moscow has eased visa regulations for foreign soccer fans and pumped billions of dollars into stadiums, hotels and other infrastructure as the Kremlin is keen to improve Russia’s image in its worst crisis with the West since the Cold War.
Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Maria Kiselyova