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Putin says no time to relax amid reports of delay in WC preparations


Russia President Vladimir Putin says his officials need to “pay very special attention” to the problems in the country’s preparation for the 2018 World Cup and that “any delays are inadmissible”.

Reports of delays have sprung, particularly in the 45,000-seat Cosmos Arena in Samara, which has been facing backlog in work throughout the past year.

“Any delays in the preparations for the World Cup are inadmissible,” said Putin while at a meeting of the council for sports.

“Solving problems is mostly complicated at the final stage and we should pay very special attention to it.”

The 2018 World Cup will be held in 12 stadiums across 11 Russian cities from June 14 to July 15. Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhy Novgorod, Yaketerinburg, and Samara will all host games next summer.

With just months to go, Putin wants officials to double-check if they are truly ready for the grandiose event because most problems reveal themselves at the last minute of preparations.

“In the final stage, it may seem that everything is done,” said Putin. “But if something hasn’t been completed it means that nothing has been done. And if we [allow ourselves to] relax, we’ll never bring things to a close.”