Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko has spoken of his desire for the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to continue as a national football development centre after the conclusion of this year’s FIFA World Cup in the country.

The national team tournament drew to a close yesterday (Sunday) with France seeing off Croatia 4-2 in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium to clinch their second World Cup title.

Mutko, who was also chairman of the Russian government’s coordination council for the preparation of the World Cup, has told the TASS news agency he is keen to retain momentum in the wake of the final and said the stadium can play a key role in the development of football in Russia.

“I think from now on key matches of our national team will be played at Luzhniki,” Mutko said.

“A museum of football will be reopened there, as will a Russian football educational and training centre.

“I hope all final games of the Russia Cup will be played at Luzhniki as well – it will make it possible to give a fresh impetus to and raise the status of the Russian Cup.”

Mutko also spoke about how the stadium will support youngsters interested in the sport and help further their development.

“Luzhniki will also help us promote children’s football,” he said. “We have discussed corresponding methodology with the German Football Association.

“We already have a program for training children aged from 10 to 14, a program for children from seven to 10 years of age is being launched and a program for teenagers from 14 to 17 is being worked on.

“The Russian Football Union alone will allocated about 100m rubles (€1.4m/$1.6m/£1.2m) a year to fund these programs.”

Image: Own Work