MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti)
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- Russian World Cup Host Cities to be Cut This Month
The choice of host cities for the 2018 World Cup will be announced next week during a live broadcast on Channel One in Russia, the organizing committee said Friday.
The announcement ceremony will be opened by FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, feature FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke as well as variety of Russian athletes, football stars and celebrities.
The broadcast will start on Saturday, September 29 at 21:20 Moscow time (17:20GMT).
There are 13 cities bidding to stage World Cup matches, and it is expected that 11 cities and 12 stadiums will make it to the final list.
Moscow is guaranteed the final at the iconic Luzhniki Stadium, with proposed new arenas for Dynamo and Spartak hoping to share the capital's World Cup fixtures.
St. Petersburg is likely to be given a semifinal at Zenit's new stadium, which should be completed by 2014.
Two other dead-certs are Sochi, which will use the Fisht Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games as well as World Cup matches; and Kazan, which will have the infrastructure in place by next year, when it hosts the University Games.
Last week, Mutko warned the cities of Saransk, Volgograd, Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad and Rostov-on-Don had "several problems" that may kill their bid.
Russia was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, beating a solo bid from England and joint efforts from Spain and Portugal and the Netherlands and Belgium.
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