Nevertheless having secured the spoils, Vladimir Putin and his acolytes focused unswervingly on hitting their target of putting on the best World Cup ever - and laying to rest the image of Russian Federation as an autocratic hostile state. "You don't have to look any further than the countries that were left out of this World Cup". Infantino said he was also grateful to the volunteers, who were "the heart and the smile" of the World Cup.
"Everyone discovered a lovely country, a welcoming country, that is keen to show the world that everything that has been said before might not be true", he said. The team were invited to attend this summer's World Cup final in Moscow but could not travel to Russian Federation for medical reasons.
Qatar 2022 will start on 21st November with the final on 18th December, causing serious disruption to the domestic soccer calendar in Europe where the game is predominantly a winter sport.
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But it is not only Russian Federation that has changed, according to Infantino - it is how the world views Russian Federation.
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Since January 2018, a total of 2,037 tests have been carried out to produce a total of 3,985, blood, urine and serum samples: 2,761 of those samples were collected directly by Federation Internationale de Football Association in unannounced controls before the World Cup kicked off and 626 were collected during the tournament.
"We will decide whether it's 48 or 32 teams in the next few months", said Infantino. Yes, the 22nd edition of the FIFA's flagship tournament will not be taking place in traditional months of a football season, i.e.
Infantino said preconceived notions of the country had been changed by the positive experiences of more than one million fans who had visited.
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Coming back to the Qatar 2022, the country had successfully bid in 2010 making it the first World Cup ever to be held in the Middle-East.
"The dates for the World Cup are set".
Qatar's World Cup preparations have already been mired in controversy.
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Meanwhile, Belgium head into their clash with Brazil on a high, following their dramatic stoppage-time win against Japan. Whoever wins plays either France or Uruguay .