Mutko to chair 2018 organising committee

MOSCOW - Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was appointed chairman of the Russian organising committee for the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday.

Mutko, who is also a member of FIFA's executive board, was given the job following a meeting of Russia's 2018 World Cup supervisory board, headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"The Prime Minister chose (Mutko)... sorry I can't say much more," Alexei Sorokin, who headed the Russian bid for the 2018 tournament, was quoted as saying by local media.

Putin was widely credited with helping Russia win the right to stage the football extravaganza when it beat England, and joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands in December.

Mutko said that Moscow's 80,000-seat Luzhniki Olympic Stadium would most likely host the World Cup final and one of the semi-finals, with St Petersburg staging the other semi.

Mutko also said the 2017 Confederation Cup, an eight-team tournament which acts as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup, would be staged by four cities, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi, which is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics.