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Traffic Worries FIFA

Luzhniki stadium, with the Third Ring Road freeway curving around it. Denis Grishkin

A FIFA delegation expressed concern about Moscow's congested traffic during a Wednesday visit to assess the city as a venue for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.

They worried about "the transportation logistics that exist in Moscow," City Hall sports department chief Alexei Vorobyov said after meeting the envoys at Luzhniki stadium.

Jurgen Muller, head of event management at the international football organization, played down the potential hindrance of slow traffic.

"Moscow is a big city, and this is not to be ignored," he told reporters on the Luzhniki field. "I am sure a solution will be found."

He also said Moscow, as a future cup host, wasn't unique in its size. The next cup, in Brazil, will have matches in such large cities as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo in 2014, he said.

Muller and the other FIFA officials also heard assurances that the city will build the Spartak and Dinamo stadiums on time and rebuild Luzhniki for the football cup.

The visit to Russia also brought Muller, who is in charge of the FIFA department for the next three cups, to host-city candidates Yekaterinburg and Yaroslavl earlier this week.

The host-city selection tours began in April and will end June 22. FIFA will make the final choice of 11 cities out of 13 candidates at the end of September.

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