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'2018 World Cup infrastructure inadequate'

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St. Petersburg, May 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) is struggling to beef up its hospitality infrastructure ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with seven of the 11 host cities lagging behind in the number of hotel rooms on offer.

Only Moscow, Sochi, St. Petersburg and Kazan meet the FIFA requirement of 60,000 hotel rooms for host cities, World Cup deputy CEO Alexander Djordjadze said Tuesday at the Football Build Expo here.

"It's no secret that the other cities require improvement," he said, referring to Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don and Saransk.

Djordjadze also said those municipalities will have to find "creative solutions" for airports ill-equipped to handle the expected influx of spectators from across Russia and abroad. He suggested makeshift terminals as one possible solution.

Russia's sports ministry has said it will need $44 billion to organise the World Cup which will be held from June 8 to July 8, 2018. Individual regions have already asked for federal funding to improve antiquated roads and transportation hubs and build stadiums.

In December, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said preparations were exceeding his expectations.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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