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Putin To Attend Moscow FIFA Congress Ahead Of World Cup

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) poses with his FAN ID for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia as FIFA President Gianni Infantino stands nearby in Sochi last month.

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the congress of soccer's world governing body in Moscow on June 13 that is set to elect the host of the 2026 World Cup.

The FIFA congress will take place in Moscow's Expocenter, ahead of the 2018 World Cup opener.

The United States, Canada, and Mexico have combined for one bid to host the 2026 World Cup soccer competition. Morocco is the other contender.

The Kremlin said Putin will also be present for an evening gala on Red Square on June 13 to celebrate the start of the World Cup.

The Russian president has said he would attend the June 14 opening match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia and the July 15 final, both played in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, plus more matches if he has time.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa