Michael Yokhin Urges Caution Over World Cup 2018 Victory For Russia

Goal.com International Football analyst Michael Yokhin sees some potential rain clouds that could form over the Russia 2018 parade...
Russia were awarded the 2018 World Cup on Thursday after FIFA Executive Committee members' votes were tallied up in Zurich and while the European nation is capable of hosting football's greatest event, a number of issues that affect the country could hinder the experience.

"Russia definitely have what it takes to organise a great World Cup, and the preparations will help promote the game around the country. However, as opposed to Western countries, one shouldn’t be too optimistic as far as economical implications on Russian people are concerned," explains Goal.com International Football analyst Michael Yokhin.

"This is still a very corrupt country, and most of the revenues will go straight into the pockets of a few multimillionaires who are close to the government, thus worsening the inequality even further."

The overall size of Russia will also pose difficulties as the current infrastructure is not of the standard required, according to Yokhin.

"While the newly built stadiums will definitely be superb, transportation poses the biggest organisational problem for Russia," he continues.

"The distances between cities are huge, the railway system is absolutely insufficient for such a huge sporting event, and travelling troubles in South Africa are nothing as opposed to the problems squads, fans and journalists will face in the Putin country.

For the 2022 tournament, Qatar have been handed the rights for the tournament and comparisons can be made between the two hosts.

"Qatar winning their World Cup bid might be good news to the Middle East. Staging such a great sporting event in the region for the first time will potentially make it more open, both economically and culturally," suggested Yokhin.

"As opposed to Russia, it will be the most compact World Cup ever, making all the games available to all the fans who will arrive to the country. The weather poses a great challenge, and it will be interesting to see air-conditioning implemented in open stadiums. Political instability in the region might be of some concern, however."

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