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Russia demand FIFA promote World Cup

dpa logodpa 25/11/2016

Vladimir Putin has promised Russia will be ready but his sports minister Vitaly Mutko has lashed FIFA for their lack of promotion of the 2018 World Cup finals.

Russian football chief Vitaly Mutko has urged FIFA to promote the 2018 World Cup in Russia in a better way.

"It is high time that FIFA becomes much more active in its promotion of the World Cup," Mutko said in Kazan ahead of Saturday's draw for the 2017 Confederations Cup.

"FIFA should make more use of international football stars as advertisers and for instance show a video of the upcoming World Cup during halftime breaks of qualifying matches."

Mutko, who is also Russian sports minister and a member of the FIFA council, said he wants to raise the issue with FIFA president Gianni Infantino around the draw.

"We expect many questions from him on the state of our World Cup preparations. But we also have many questions for him," Mutko said.

Infantino was due to arrive in Russia Friday and meet with the nation's president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow before heading on to Kazan.

The World Cup is a prestigious project for Putin's Russia but construction on new stadiums around the country have been hit by rising costs and delays, such as in St Petersburg.

"We know the criticism from FIFA about the stadium," Putin said Friday.

"The workers have promised to improve everything by the end of the year.

"We are doing everything that the Confederations Cup will be a festival of sport."

Infantino meanwhile backed the Russian hosts to deliver "two great summers" in 2017 and 2018.

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