Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, welcomes FIFA President Gianni Infantino for the talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool Photo via AP)

Putin asks FIFA for support on World Cup legacy

February 20, 2019 - 11:06 am

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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