March 20 – Vitaly Mutko dismisses concerns over the football racism that has blighted Russia’s global image in the past week, insisting the problem is no worse than in other nations including England… Russia 2018 launches interim 2018 logo… FIFA praise for World Cup preparations… Mutko says ban on beer sales will be removed for tournament. INSIDER’s Mark Bisson reports.

March 14 – Alexey Sorokin tells INSIDER that FIFA is satisfied with progress across the project as World Cup organisers prepare for a big week of events in their tournament preparations. The LOC will next week unveil its strategic vision, first logo and welcome a FIFA delegation for a host cities seminar. INSIDER’s Mark Bisson reports.

April 28 – In a wide-ranging interview, Alexey Sorokin, new CEO of the Russia 2018 World Cup organising committee, tells INSIDER preparations are stepping up a gear. He spoke after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chaired the first meeting of the supervisory board of the LOC in Moscow on Wednesday. INSIDER’s Mark Bisson reports.

26/1/2011 Russian president Dmitry Medvedev calls for heightened security measures for upcoming sporting events including the 2018 World Cup in the wake of the bomb blast at Moscow’s busiest airport Domodedovo… FIFA identified air transport as Russia’s most difficult challenge in its bid inspection report. INSIDER’s Mark Bisson reports.

20/1/2011 FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Russian football chiefs will sign the 2018 World Cup host country agreement in Saint-Petersburg on Sunday, as the organising committee takes shape… FIFA attempts to cool talk of Qatar winter World Cup but piles pressure on Gulf state’s football leaders. INSIDER’s Mark Bisson reports.

30/12/10 UEFA’s Euro 2012 operations director Martin Kallen and heads of the Polish and Ukraine FAs take 5th position in World Football INSIDER’s ’10 to Watch in 2011′ series. Russia 2018 chiefs Vitaly Mutko and Alexey Sorokin are 6th in the ranking of those people expected to have the biggest influence in the global football business this coming year.