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Blatter: Nothing will stop Russia, Putin from hosting best World Cup in 2018

FIFA presidential candidate Michael van Praag is unsure about the promises by current FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter promised CONCACAF they 'should' have four places at the World Cup.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has relayed his confidence in the Russian organising committee to deliver the 2018 World Cup amid concerns over their preparations.

Sepp Blatter believes Russia can host the best World Cup in history in 2018 ahead of a meeting with Russian president Vladamir Putin.

FIFA president Blatter met Putin on a visit to Sochi -- site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and one of the host venues for the 2018 tournament -- on Monday, and declared his pride in Russia's preparations beforehand.

"I am a happy and proud president. I am proud that Russia is getting ready to host the World Cup," Blatter said in quotes picked up by Reuters.

"A lot of...

UEFA awards Russia 3-0 win over Montenegro in Euro 2016 qualifier

Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev was knocked unconscious by a flare, prompting play to be suspended until further notice.

UEFA has given Russia a 3-0 win over Montenegro by forfeit after crowd violence forced a European Championship qualifying match to be stopped and later abandoned.

UEFA says its disciplinary panel ordered Montenegro to play their next home qualifier in an empty stadium. The Montenegro federation was fined €50,000 ($54,000).

The Russian federation was fined €25,000 ($27,000) for improper conduct by supporters.

UEFA did not activate sanctions deferred after disorder by Russian fans at Euro...

Russia trims World Cup budget four percent by cutting luxury hotels

MOSCOW -- Russia's budget for the 2018 World Cup is being cut by four percent by scrapping luxury hotels that might otherwise lie empty after the tournament.

The move would help to reduce the total cost from 664 billion rubles ($12 billion) to 637.6 billion, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told Russian news agency Tass on Tuesday.

"We don't want elite hotels built to FIFA's highest requirements to end up out of demand after the World Cup,'' he said, adding that Russia would be careful to keep to FIFA...

Dinamo Moscow ban Igor Denisov, add him to transfer list after coach clash

Igor Denisov will be left out of the Dinamo Moscow team for the foreseeable future.

MOSCOW -- Dinamo Moscow have placed Russia midfielder Igor Denisov on the transfer list and suspended him from all first-team activity following a clash with the coach.

The club said Denisov, 30, would train on his own and was up for sale after "interfering in the work of the head coach," Stanislav Cherchesov.

Denisov is a regular for the Russian national team and a former captain. He started for Russia in their last competitive game, last month's abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier against Montenegro.