World Cup: Sepp Blatter casts doubt on Russia's 2018 stadium plans
Last Updated: 14/07/14 7:00pm
Sepp Blatter: FIFA president casts doubt on Russia's plans
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has surprised Russian officials after he revealed FIFA will discuss the possibility of reducing the number of stadiums to be used at the 2018 World Cup.
Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko recently unveiled detailed background about Russia's plans for their World Cup in four years’ time which involves 12 stadiums in 11 cities, but Blatter has cast doubt on this.
He said: “It's a footballing country but we will have meetings there in September to see if 12 is the right number and even if they could be reduced to 10."
Blatter’s comments came as a complete surprise to Alexei Sorokin, the chief executive officer of the Russian Organising Committee, who said: "This is the first I have heard about it, we know nothing about this."
Blatter described the Brazil World Cup as "very, very special", giving it a mark of 9.25 out of 10, but said he was troubled that it cost in the region of $11billion to stage.
"It's obvious the World Cup has taken such a dimension that the organisation is a hard work for the organising country and also for the FIFA," he said.
"FIFA is looking at 2018 now and we are in discussions on what is the ideal number for the organisation and to keep it in such a manner that it's feasible, reasonable and controllable.
"We are not going to be in a situation as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums."
Mutko said on Saturday that Russia had allocated $20billion to staging the 2018 World Cup.