FOOTBALL

Putin asks FIFA for support on World Cup legacy

By ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 21, 2019 08:30 AM

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he wants FIFA to help ensure last year's World Cup has an effective legacy.

"Ahead of us we now have a different task, to use everything that was done for the World Cup, to use it effectively, and on this issue we are also counting on your support," Putin said at a meeting with FIFA president Gianni Infantino in Moscow.

Many Russian clubs have already seen a boost in attendance in the season following the World Cup. With new arenas, teams in the host cities of Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod have more than doubled their average home attendance, though Sochi and Kaliningrad are lagging behind.

Putin awarded Infantino a medal earlier this month for his help with staging the World Cup.

"The outcome so far has been extremely positive, with average stadium attendances and football interest in general rising significantly according to recent reports," FIFA said in a statement, adding it is working with Russia to allocate money from a tournament legacy fund.

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