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Russia has won its bid to host the 2018 World Cup, the FIFA Executive Committee announced in Switzerland's Zurich on Thursday.
Russia won the bid in a tight race against England, Portugal and Spain (jointly), and Belgium and the Netherlands (jointly).
Russia’s main selling points have been an appeal to FIFA’s sense of legacy and mission to open new borders. Russia has never hosted a major football tournament. The team behind the Russian application has also stressed the massive state support for the bid.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's decision not to travel to Zurich for the bid led to rumors that he was not sure Russia would win and did not wish to be associated with defeat. Russian officials have said however that there is no need for him to travel, as Russia was certain to win.
ZURICH, December 2 (RIA Novosti)
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.