Football Soccer - Russia Training - FIFA Confederations Cup - Smena Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - June 16, 2017 Russia's Igor Akinfeev during training REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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With President Vladimir Putin in attendance and 44,000 tickets sold, Saturday's Confederations Cup opener will give Russia the chance to show off its preparations for next year's World Cup despite concerns over stadium security and infrastructure.World Cup holders Germany and the six winners of FIFA confederations descend on Russia for the two-week tournament that will allow the hosts to assess the readiness of four of its World Cup venues and its ability to handle fans from overseas.Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup in 12 stadiums spread across 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.Smith acknowledged that Russia had done "some intense fine-tuning" ahead of the tournament.
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