Russian Federation will be prepared to face New Zealand

Doug Mendoza
June 19, 2017

Russian Federation is set to host the 2018 World Cup in 12 stadiums spread across 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.

The 8-nation tournament features the host nation, 2014 World Cup victor Germany and champions of FIFA's six continental governing bodies.

This competition offers Russian Federation a chance to showcase its readiness to host the 2018 World Cup amidst off-field concerns surrounding hooliganism and security.

Putin this week demanded better results from the 63rd-ranked team to impress the Russian public.

On June 17 the Federation Internationale de Football Association president visited the opening game of the 2017 Confederations Cup match in St. Petersburg, in which Russia defeated New Zealand 2:0.

However, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said last week terrorism did not pose any threat to Confederations Cup participants and spectators.

Hosts Russia got their Confederations Cup campaign off to the flawless start, easing to victory against a toothless New Zealand in St Petersburg. Several defenders rushed back to attempt to clear the ball, but after coming off the post it was bundled over the line by defender Michael Boxall.

Putin has always made hosting the 2018 World Cup a priority and on Saturday football "arrived" in Russian Federation with the Confederations Cup, a procession of glorified friendlies that serve as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

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"I don't know how it was to play on, but judging by the game it seemed the quality (of the pitch) was rather good".

Federation Internationale de Football Association suggested in 2015 that Qatar could stage a Club World Cup in late-2021 as an "operational test event".

Hosts Russia, who drew with Copa America champions Chile 1-1 in a friendly last week, slipped to a record low 63rd in Federation Internationale de Football Association world rankings this month.

Russia's fast start contrasted with New Zealand seeming unsettled early in a game that began after an unusual pre-match ceremony.

Andres Guardado and Mexico trained in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

"He is an example for us, the way he works, the way he plays", Patricio said.

Russian authorities insist that the Confederations Cup's ticketing system, which requires ticket holders to apply for a personalised fan-ID, ensures that all fans are screened and troublemakers are kept away.

Group A rivals Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, and Mexico meet in Kazan on Sunday, with Russia's next game against the Portuguese in Moscow on Wednesday.

Other reports by GizPress

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