Published August 20, 2014
Russia "is resisting demands from FIFA to reduce the number of stadiums for the 2018 World Cup from 12 to 10," according to the AP. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who said last month that two of the 12 planned stadiums could be cut, "was in Sochi over the weekend to discuss the issue with Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko."
Mutko said, "The conception, under which 12 stadiums in 11 cities will host World Cup matches, is not being changed. FIFA recommends 10 stadiums in nine cities, including two arenas in Moscow." Mutko said that "a final decision will be taken at a FIFA executive committee meeting in October." Mutko said that a FIFA delegation "is to start inspecting the 2018 arenas on Wednesday, beginning with the planned 45,000-seat stadium in the central Russian city of Saransk" (AP, 8/19
). The London GUARDIAN reported there "is also, it seems, a genuine fear within the Russian Football Union that Crimean teams competing in these competitions could cost Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup." The new entities, along with Zhemchuzhina, "were accepted into the RFU in a meeting at the end of July, although the Crimean federation has not yet been admitted." UEFA, though, still recognizes the clubs as Ukrainian, "placing its involvement in the competition of another nation in contravention" of UEFA statutes. FIFA’s regulations "would allow it but only with the agreement of both national associations" (GUARDIAN, 8/19