TAGS:

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has asked FIFA to do more to promote the 2018 World Cup.

Mutko was speaking ahead of the arrival in Russia of Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, for Saturday’s Confederations Cup draw.

World Cup Organising Committee chairman Mutko claims they have no “alarming” questions to ask the head of world football’s governing body during the visit.

“We expect questions to Russia from him [Infantino],” Mutko told news agency TASS.

“We would like FIFA to be more active in promoting the World Cup.

“We don’t have any alarming question to him.”

Russia has come under scrutiny over its preparations for the 2018 tournament, particularly concerning the construction of some of the stadiums.

Saint Petersburg’s new 68,000-seater stadium, which will host matches at the Confederations Cup, has suffered a number of problems, the latest of which involves technical issues with the retractable pitch.

The latest venues to hit delays are those being built in Nizhny Novgorod and Volgograd, with the Russian Government admitting they would not be completed until the first quarter of 2018 – leaving little room for leeway ahead of the summer 2018 finals. They were both originally scheduled to be finished by December 2017.

Infantino has travelled to Russia to conduct the draw for the 2017 Confederations Cup, seen as a useful dry run ahead of the finals thsmelves.

The tournament. scheduled to be held from June 17 to July 2, will feature hosts Russia, World Cup winners Germany, along with the winners of the continental competitions.

Russia, Germany, Copa America holders Chile and UEFA European Championships victors Portugal will be in pot one for the draw.

Pot two includes 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, Asian Cup champions Australia and New Zealand, winners of the Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup. They will be joined by the winners of next year’s African Cup of Nations.