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Moscow has a good chance of hosting the final of 2008-09 UEFA Champions League
Moscow has a good chance of hosting the final of 2008-09 UEFA Champions League, the president of the Russian Football Union said Wednesday. Vitaly Mutko, who met in Moscow earlier Wednesday with a group of representatives from UEFA, European football's governing body, said that Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium could beat off competition from cities including Seville, London, Rome and Berlin to host the prestigious event. He added that hosting the final of Europe's top soccer competition was very important for Russia. "[Hosting] the Champions League final is part of a plan to develop Russian soccer over the next 10 years," he said. The RFU recently pulled off a major coup when it inked a two-year deal for current PSV Eindhoven and Australia coach Guus Hiddink to take over following this summer's World Cup, which kicks off in Germany next month. Hiddink will also work with the country's youth teams as part of a bid to build up infrastructure in the country and improve the country's position in global soccer. But Mutko said the UEFA inspection group saw high prices in Moscow hotels as an obstacle for hosting the final game. "[Hotel] prices in Moscow are much higher than in other bidding cities," Mutko said, adding that the RFU had been working on the issue and would guarantee inexpensive rooms in hotels for fans and people coming to watch the game. UEFA's executive committee will announce its decision on the host city for the 2009 final in October.
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