Football suffers in Russia


MOSCOW. — Half-empty stadiums, low TV viewing figures and uninspiring displays by the national team: Russians are struggling to get interested in football with two years to go before they host the World Cup soccer finals.

This month a survey conducted by state-controlled pollsters VTsIOM showed the number of people who said they were indifferent to the beautiful game was at 83 percent. “Unfortunately it’s a fact,” lamented sports minister Vitaly Mutko to the press. “Our people do not attend the matches or even watch football on TV.”

A large part of the problem getting people to games in Russia appears to be the dire state of the sport’s infrastructure across the nation. — AFP.

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