Arsene Wenger backs Russia to hold a successful World Cup in 2018

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Russia are capable of putting on a successful World Cup when they host the tournament in 2018, despite some issues that they must first overcome.

The Frenchman had been a strong advocate of the English bid for the competition, but is confident that the eventual winners of the bidding process can produce what they have promised.

Speaking to the Official Arsenal Magazine, Wenger said: “They have the advantage of hosting for the first time, also today they have the financial potential.

“It’s a very proud population and they will want to show the world they can do it in a great way. It looks like the country is developing well too. I think basically they have what it takes – money. They look like they have the financial power.

“Recently I would say that it [the standard of football in Russia] has improved very quickly – so has the quality of the hotels, the quality of the stadiums. Even if you look at Ukraine, it’s developing very fast. Overall it is a football country.”

Wenger did identify the potential problems that arise with such an enormous host country: “It takes four hours just to fly over Siberia, so that’s a disadvantage because it raises questions over communications.

“The quality of the transport can be questioned too. Will they be answered in time, I don’t know, but I suppose they will make sure it is.

“Basically you can say two things: it’s a massive country and one that’s never had the World Cup before.”

Wenger was proud of his Arsenal player and Russian international Andrey Arshavin, who delivered a speech as part of his country’s bid which was widely accepted as very impressive.


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