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Despite the current troubles in eastern Ukraine, FIFA is adamant that Russia will still be hosting the 2018 World Cup. In response to Russia's alleged involvement in the Malaysian Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week, German lawmakers have tried to pressure FIFA into relocating the tournament.
"FIFA is convinced that, through football, particularly the World Cup and its international spotlight, we can achieve positive change in the world," FIFA said in response to being asked to move the tournament out of Russia.
Russia has already announced a $20 billion budget for the World Cup, which will go to building 12 stadiums, reports the The Associated Press.
It will not be easy to convince FIFA to move the tournament, as they have an inside man on the job. Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko is on FIFA's executive committee, and has said the tournament can be "a source for good." Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Sepp Blatter sat next to each other at this year's World Cup Final, which Germany won over Argentina.
Putin's presence was felt throughout this year's Winter Olympics, which were hosted in the Sochi and could be seen at a various events. Putin tried to use the Winter Games to prove to the world that Russia was a world-class country, and he a world-class president. However, the Olympics did not go as planned for Putin. The Wall Street Journal suggested that the games were a waste of $50 billion.
It already seems like Russia will use the World Cup the same way they used the Olympics - to try and show their might. The Russian team has already starting gearing up for it. Their coach, Fabio Capello, was the highest paid coach at this year's World Cup, and is under contract to coach the team until 2018.
Capello is one of the most revered coaches in the world, and was hired in 2012 to give him all the time he needed to whip Russia into a world-class team, which they traditionally are not.