Putin reassures FIFA’s Blatter that Russia can host 2018 World Cup

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he has received personal assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the country's ability to host the 2018 World Cup despite Russia's recent economic situation.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia —

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he has received personal assurances from Russian President Vladimir Putin that the country’s economic problems will not affect its ability to host the 2018 World Cup.

Blatter said he was ”vigilant” about Russia’s economic situation after the ruble lost almost half of its value last year under pressure from the sinking world oil price and international sanctions.

Blatter said he had met Putin during a visit to Russia on Friday and was assured ”there is no intention to ask FIFA to change anything in the pattern and the program of the World Cup and we trust Russia will find a solution.”

The Russian government also faces a fall in revenue due to the low oil price, while the World Bank on Wednesday predicted that Russia’s economy would contract by 2.9 percent this year.