MOSCOW:  Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says Russia has “learned the lesson” from the hooligan violence at Euro 2016 and has promised that the 2018 World Cup finals will be staged in “a secure, comfortable and football-loving atmosphere” writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Mutko, who is also president of the local organising committee of the World Cup, head of the Russian football federation and a member of the FIFA and UEFA governing boards, made his comments at the formal confirmation of ticketing pricing and timelines.

Mukto and Samoura: Singing from the same hymn sheet:

He had been criticised in France for waving encouragingly to Russian fans in the crowd at the match against England which was preceded by violence on the streets and followed by a thugs’ attack on English fans within the Stade Velodrome.

The Russian federation was threatened with expulsion by UEFA if such incidents were repeated. Troublemakers were rounded up and deported.

Eye witness

Mutko said: “Take any big event, like Euro 2016, certainly we will learn the lesson.

“We had our people there under the [organisers] ‘observer’ programme, we also had security officers in France. I have been in Marseille and have seen everything with my own eyes.

“We are now in negotiations with colleagues from France and will meet to discuss their experience. They are trying to look at the best practices and I believe we can create a secure, comfortable and football loving atmosphere.”

Mutko said that Russian legislation and systems had been tightened to embrace the latest security technologies and improve the exchange of hooligan ban lists with other countries.

He said: “The government guarantees security [and the] security concept has been drafted and shared with FIFA. We will ensure that every team, every fan can feel in safety. You know we already held the Olympic Games in 2014 and no issues were identified.”

Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s new secretary-general on not only her first major site visit but her first visit to Russia, said that she considered preparations as “well under way” for next year’s Confederations Cup test event there.

Samoura’s promise

Accepting her own responsibilities, she said: “It is paramount for me as secretary-general of FIFA to ensure that the World Cup and Confederations Cup will impress and inspire fans from the smallest villages in Africa and Asia to some of the world’s most bustling and cosmopolitan cities like Moscow.”

The FIFA operations team would be led by her joint deputy Zvonimir Boban and competitions director Colin Smith.

The Confederations Cup draw will be staged in November in Kazan.

Samoura also promised that lessons would be learned from not only Euro 2016 but from the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro “to ensure everyone coming to the Confederations Cup and World Cup can enjoy a great football festival in a safe environment.”

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FIFA sets out ticketing timeline for Russian World Cup

** Ticket prices for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia will be $100 and on up according to FIFA and the local organising committee while the top price for the final has broken the $1,000 barrier for the first time.

A formal announcement about ticket prices for both the finals themselves and the ‘warm-up’ Confederations Cup test event next year was made in Moscow today. Overall prices have been increased by around 15pc compared with Brazil.

For the Confederations Cup a special Category Four has been reserved for up to 100,000 local residents. Other ticket categories are priced from $70 to $245.

For the World Cup domestic residents will have access to at least 350,000 tickets in Category Four. Tickets available to all fans in the remaining categories will be on sale from $105.

FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura, who was in Moscow for her first working visit to the hosts, said:  “We wanted to make sure that we priced tickets fairly to make the events accessible to as many people as possible. We conducted thorough market research and have priced the tickets accordingly.”

Ticket sales for fans wishing to attend the FIFA Confederations Cup will begin with a Visa exclusive pre-sales phase running from November 8 to this year. The first sales phase will then start on December 1, five days after the Official Draw in Kazan.

Russia, Germany, Australia, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand have already qualified, while the winners of Euro 2016 – or the runners-up should world champions Germany win – are also guaranteed a spot.

The eighth and final participants will be decided in January at the conclusion of the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, when the full Russia 2017 match schedule will be known.

For the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, fans will be able to apply not only for individual match tickets, but also for ticket series for a specific host city.

As well as those two options, fans wishing to follow their country at the World Cup will also be able to apply for team-specific ticket series.

Ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup will only begin after next year’s FIFA Confederations Cup. For both tournaments, tickets will be available for purchase by the general public exclusively on

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