Meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino
Vladimir Putin talked with FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a visit to the new stadium of FC Krasnodar.
May 23, 2017
With FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The meeting was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko and Presidential Aide Igor Levitin.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Infantino, we are glad that you have a positive view of Russia’s efforts to prepare for the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup.
I would like to repeat what we have discussed with you earlier: the development of football is the key, or at least a major reason why the right to host world championships is granted to the countries that still have room for improvement in sports, including football.
You have seen today, and I have seen together with you, the conditions we have created for children and young people who can play football here and study in the school near this wonderful arena, which has been built for both professional athletes and amateurs.
Regarding preparations for the World Cup and the Confederations Cup, you know that we take proper care of and allocate many seats at our arenas to foreign visitors. We are working actively with the fans, and we will do our best to maintain the highest possible service standards at the sports facilities and to create favourable living and other conditions for the numerous fans, spectators and athletes.
I would like to thank you and your colleagues at FIFA for your support and for promoting the implementation of our plans over the past few years.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino: Thank you very much, first of all for having invited me to discover this place here. Because I think this is exactly one example of what Russia is and is doing.
Meeting in Krasnodar today, we have seen absolutely state-of-the-art facilities for the development of football. Not only the beautiful stadium that we can see but all the facilities with the beaches, with the compounds, for children to study, for their life and for their football career. So, education but also sport. And this is one example of many examples that exist in Russia that were also built thanks to the World Cup. And it is important that the world knows what is being done for the development of football, for Russia but for the world as well.
I was always convinced that Russia would deliver. Now, we see the concrete facts. So if anyone had any doubt on anything, now we see the results. And obviously, as FIFA President but more important, also as a football fan, I really invite the whole world to come to Russia for the Confederations Cup, for the World Cup and to discover an incredible country.
So really, my big thanks to you and all the Russian people for what you are doing for us, for football, for everyone who loves this fantastic game. It is amazing. I am impressed and I will continue to be impressed. There is still work to do and we are going to work together like in football which is a team sport and we are a team. Together we will show to the world what we can do.
Visit to FC Krasnodar Academy
Vladimir Putin visited the FC Krasnodar Academy, a boarding school where young trainees for the FC’s team study.
May 23, 2017
With students of the FC Krasnodar Academy.
The President was shown the general plan of the academy’s grounds, toured the school building and the gym featuring the Football training complex, and also talked with the students.
The youth academy was set up at FC Krasnodar in 2008 and has since become one of the largest football youth academies in Europe and the world. It has 25 branches, nine of which are located in Krasnodar and 14 in other towns of the region.
Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino were shown around FC Krasnodar’s new stadium. Construction began in April 2013 and ended in September 2016. The arena has 34,291 seats and a cable-stayed roof that covers all stands. The stands have an infrared heating system that keeps spectators warm in cold weather. The football pitch with a playing area of 105 by 68 metres was built using the full range of modern technologies, like heating/cooling, turf aeration and stadium lights. The stadium has the necessary equipment to be used as a venue for UEFA and FIFA tournaments.
While touring the stadium, President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino talked to representatives of leading Russian volunteer associations. Vladimir Putin noted that the volunteer movement in Russia is expanding. There will be 5,800 volunteers at the Confederations Cup taking place between June 17 and July 2, and 20,000 volunteers at the 2018 World Cup. A record number of applications in the entire history of the championships were received – some 177,000 from 190 countries.
Vladimir Putin sent his greetings to participants, guests and organisers of the 5th Youth Judo Tournament in memory of distinguished trainer of Russia Anatoly Rakhlin.
May 23, 2017
The message reads, in part:
“This tournament is inseparable from the name of Anatoly Rakhlin, a wonderful person and an outstanding trainer and mentor who did much to promote judo in Russia and who coached many talented athletes.
I would like to say that youth events like this tournament are very important and useful because they introduce young people to the values of healthy and active living and help them built character and will. Also, your tournament helps preserve Anatoly Rakhlin’s rich coaching and creative heritage, his unique ideas and experience.”
The first youth judo tournament in memory of Anatoly Rakhlin (1938–2013) was held in St Petersburg in 2013.
Meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport
In Krasnodar, Vladimir Putin held a meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.
May 23, 2017
Meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.
Before the meeting, the President visited the Champion training centre facilities, in particular those for wrestling and artistic gymnastics, where he briefly spoke with young athletes.
The Champion training centre features 11 halls for nine sports, including artistic gymnastics, acrobatics, rhythmic gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, weightlifting, fencing, shooting and trampolining. The total area of the centre is 43,750 square metres. Equipped with state-of-the-art sports and technical equipment, Champion can host high-level competitions and major events.
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Speech at the meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
The council’s meeting today will focus on the training of the reserve and national sports teams. This concerns not only the forming a decent succession of athletes for elite sports. The priority is to bring up a healthy young generation that will share the values of active lifestyle and physical culture.
We do have a system of sports training for children and young people, which has evolved over decades. But modern trends in world sports, scientific innovations, new technologies and new challenges call for a major revision of existing methods and approaches.
Our goal is to ensure the competitiveness of young athletes, of Russian sport as a whole, to maintain leading positions in many areas. First of all, we need to ensure continuity in the preparation of our athletic reserve: from extracurricular sports at schools to sports universities, from local teams to national teams.
Additional education programmes and standards in sports should be harmoniously interlinked and subject to uniform requirements, in a single training process. It is important to streamline the types of entities working for the sports reserve, their status, and the names – you would probably agree with me that it's time we figure them out, otherwise it would be easy to get confused. In fact, they are all engaged in the same process – in fostering athletes. Therefore, they should have universal names regardless of departmental affiliation. They need to have a clear monitoring system and, most importantly, be guided by general federal standards of sports training.
We should also think about support for gifted children. A system of grants for promising athletes is already working in a number of regions. I think it possible to implement this system at the federal level. This will help identify the best of the best and lead them to success. Funds for these purposes must be found, including – I have already talked about this more than once – by reducing the financing of professional sports, at least through the channels often used now to provide money, very large amounts and not always justified.
Competitions have always been and still are an integral part of sports education and identifying gifted young athletes. The Russian sports calendar is diverse and packed, but it clearly lacks some high-profile national event that would give sports fans an opportunity to see our best athletes representing various sports.
It may be recalled that back in 2013 we made the decision to hold summer and winter nationwide Spartakiad games in Russia in events on the Olympic and Paralympic programmes. However, that decision was not completely carried out in practice even though we had everything that was required for that. We have made modest attempts to carry it out but have not done that to the fullest extent possible.
At the same time, top-level national combined competitions – the biggest sports festival uniting the country – are more relevant today than ever. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure the participation of foreign athletes, which will make these competitions more attention-grabbing, competitive and attractive to both spectators and host regions.
I ask the Government to take responsibility for the preparation and conduct of these Spartakiad games and to reflect the topics that we will discuss today in the concept for preparing Russia’s sport reserves and coordinate it with the regions.
For their part, the regions should update their lists of the core sporting events that they selected in their time, taking into account their ability to strictly comply with federal standards.
Talking about the sports reserve, it would be wrong to bypass the issue of ending a competitive career in sports.
First, additional measures are needed to allow those who honourably represented the country in sports to acquire new career opportunities and apply their talent and experience.
Second, it is necessary to consider ways of providing support to silver and bronze medallists of Olympic Games who have reached pension age. At present, this is done by the Russian Olympians Foundation. However, it was created – I created it myself, I initiated it, and I remember the original idea very well – to provide assistance to active athletes. And it should focus on this alone, especially considering that the next Winter Olympic Games are just around the corner. Here, I would like to observe that the results of the past winter season could have been better, to put it mildly.
Today, Pavel Kolobkov will talk about preparations for the 2018 Games in Korea and the next games, in Japan and China.
I would like to draw your attention to the region where the Olympic Games will be held. We should do our best to ensure that our national teams train for these games in similar geographical conditions and at the same time we should begin to identify and support promising athletes with a view to the 2024 Games. Today, Vitaly Smirnov will also brief the Council on the nationwide plan to fight doping.
Vladimir Putin: As for the first question. A very important issue is the training of the sports reserve. I want to thank my colleagues who worked on the preparation of today's discussion. We will take into account all comments that were made during our discussion today and will add them to the final documents.
As for the national plan to fight doping in Russian sports. I would like to once again thank Mr Smirnov and all our colleagues who worked on this. We know the conditions they had to work under. This was an enormous task, and the work was done based solely on the principles of ensuring that sport is clean. And I think they did their best.
I agree with Mr Zhukov’s initiative that the commission should continue to work and assume the functions of independent monitoring and oversight of the implementation of a set of measures to be approved by the Russian Government in the near future based on the proposed document.
The most important thing is to create a zero-tolerance attitude towards doping in general. Perhaps it makes sense to talk about changing the applicable code. Although, I have to agree with what Mr Lukin said. I analysed the plan carefully and saw that it is really comprehensive and important. I just want to draw attention to one thing.
We know that the World Anti-Doping Agency strongly supports an idea, stated here at the end of the second section. It is about adopting and implementing measures to develop the so-called “institution of informers.”
For our country, this has special meaning. We are well aware that tragic pages in the history of our state are closely connected with this institution. Stalin's mass political repression is associated with this institution. For us, this is of particular significance. And if WADA insists on this, then I understand the authors of this plan, but for us it is very important that this institution does not quietly migrate into other spheres of life here. I want to draw your attention to this.
And it is necessary to treat this with great care, taking into account the main, noble goal of this plan, namely fostering a zero-tolerance attitude to doping and ensuring that Russian sport is clean. Of course, this is the number one task, and we all must work to implement this plan and achieve this main goal.
If we go back to the first question – the training of the sports reserve – we understand that future results in high-level sport and the resolution of the main task – promoting a healthy lifestyle and the health of our citizens – depend on a comprehensive approach to addressing this task. Sport and physical culture are directly related to this extremely important task, which we are trying to address and are discussing today.
Thank you very much.