Football: Russian sports minister says no major problems ahead of World Cup 2018

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke (left) and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko give a press briefing on Feb 16, 2015 in St Petersburg. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said during the conference that his organising committee faces no m
Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke (left) and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko give a press briefing on Feb 16, 2015 in St Petersburg. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said during the conference that his organising committee faces no major issues during preparation for hosting World Cup 2018 in St Petersburg and ten other Russian cities. -- PHOTO: AFP 

ST PETERSBURG (REUTERS) - Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on Monday said his organising committee faces no major issues during preparation for hosting World Cup 2018 in St Petersburg and ten other Russian cities.

"The team has already formed and they all have one goal: to host the World Cup on the highest level in 2018. And we are committed to doing it," Mutko said during a joint news conference with Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke.

The news conference followed a meeting of the Russia-2018 Organisational Committee Council in St Petersburg.

"I just want to confirm that yes, we are working very well together. Yes, we are on track for all the preparations. Not only for the 2018 World Cup but it is very important to repeat that in 2017 we have the Confederations Cup. But it is true that for us, for all of us, the next milestone is this pre-draw here in St Petersburg which is a beautiful city," Valcke said. Both officials shared a laugh after Mutko said his plan was to beat Brazil, which held the 2014 World Cup.

"No comment, no comment," Valcke said laughing.

In 2017, the Fifa Confederations Cup final will be hosted by Moscow FC's Spartak stadium.

The eleven cities chosen by Russia to host matches are Moscow, St Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Saransk and Yekaterinburg.