It has been decided to host the Football World Cup 2018 in Russia. That gives that country two major events within four years: the Winter Olympics will be held at Sochi in 2014. England, Spain & Portugal and Holland & Belgium had been rival contenders for 2018, but found themselves finally beaten by the Russians. Disappointment is deep in England, which is hosting the Olympics in 2012. The last time the football world cup was held there was 1966, when the host nation beat Germany 4-2. Reaction in Russia is positive, although some people are wondering if the money for the 14 new stadiums, transport links and hotels could not be better spent on modernising facilities for ordinary people. However, it is to be hoped that the 2018 World Cup will serve as a boost towards further modernisation of Russia.
To quote one of my Russian on-line contacts: "Россия, ура, ура!"