Russia unprepared to host 2018 World Cup: Aleksandr Bubnov

Monday, November 8, 2010

LONDON - Russian football legend Aleksandr Bubnov has said that his country is not ready to host the 2018 World Cup.

The famous Dynamo Stadium pitch, which is the site for the new showpiece arena for the 2018 World Cup if Russia’s bid is successful, is in shambles and stands are a mass of tangled metal and torn up plastic seats.

Aleksandr said: “Russia isn’t ready to host the 2018 World Cup, I’m afraid. As of today, Russia hasn’t a single stadium, which would meet the requirement of a World Cup. In my opinion England could hold the World Cup now - and that’s before all the investment that will pour in.”

“England invented football. The World Cup there in 1966 is now long ago and you have the best league in the world. I think 2018 will go England’s way,” The Sun quoted the Russian legend, as saying.

The decision is to be announced by Fifa, the world football’s governing body, on December 2.

Aleksandr said his nation is unprepared for the tournament due to Russia’s virulent corruption, both in football and wider society, its lack of infrastructure and the need for the development of the national team.

“Russian officials approached me after I raised questions about our 2018 bid and asked, ‘Are you so unpatriotic that you don’t want the World Cup in Russia?’ I’m very much a patriot but we are totally unprepared to host the World Cup,” he added.

Russia has pledged 61.5 billion pounds to transform ageing cities and build infrastructure, including 14 new stadiums if it wins the bid.

He is worried that much of the cash will be siphoned off through backhanders and bribes.

Aleksandr said: “Corruption is a disease in Russia. It begins with police and business. The building industry is corrupt too.” (ANI)

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