Russia revels in World Cup success

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The Independent Football

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed the news that the 2018 World Cup is coming to his country but immediately turned his focus to delivering the event.

The Russian bid saw off competition from England, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium at today's announcement in Zurich despite the absence of President Vladimir Putin, who is now flying to Switzerland.

Medvedev was quick to commend the bid team's success though.

Writing on his Twitter account, Medvedev said: "Victory. We got it! Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup! Now we need to prepare for it and I hope our team will do well too."

Medvedev's deputy Igor Shuvalov, clutching a replica of the World Cup trophy on stage moments after Sepp Blatter made the announcement, told the crowd: "To have entrusted us with the World Cup for will never regret it. Let us make history together."

Fans were also rejoicing at the news, with Alexander Shprygin, the head of Russia's official football supporters group, telling The Moscow News that the World Cup put even the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in the shade.

"This is huge for us," said Shprygin.

"We've been waiting for this announcement for two years, when fans first spoke with sports minister Vitaly Mutko about it.

"It's a symbol, a landmark and a bigger stimulus than the 2014 Olympics. It's a national leap, a national project."