Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised to head Russia's delegation at the FIFA executive committee meetings in Zurich, where the hosts of the
2018 and 2022 World Cups will be chosen.
Putin's support of Sochi in flying to Guatemala City where the IOC met to decide the 2014 Winter Olympic Games host is viewed as a critical factor in the Southern resort town winning the right to host. He spoke -- in English -- on behalf of the Sochi bid and helped sway IOC members.
Putin has been very public in his support of Russia's bid that is considered the favorite in many quarters to win the 2018 World Cup.