Stadia to be decreased

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Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has revealed plans for Russia to reduce the number of stadia it plans to utilise during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Russias bid, which fended off competition from Spain/Portugal, Belgium/Netherlands and England to land the countrys first World Cup, had originally proposed 16 venues in 13 cities. However, Mutko told Reuters: " Twelve is a more practical number because the more cities you have, the bigger the cost is of staging the tournament. We haven't made the final decision and in theory all 16 (original) venues still have a chance to be selected. But in the end we would have no more than 13 stadia. " Mutko added that Moscow's 84, 000–seat Luzhniki Olympic stadium would likely host the World Cup final and one of its semi–finals, with St Petersburg staging the other semi. " Moscow alone has three different stadia, plus another one just outside the city, " he said. " I think it's just too much. We shouldn't have more than two World Cup stadia in Moscow. " FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke had previously hailed Russias early preparations for the 2018 World Cup as outstanding. While the tournament is still seven years away, Valcke revealed that the selection of the 12 host cities would be decided by March 2013 at the latest, with detailed inspections and analysis ongoing until then.

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