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Putin visits Spartak Moscow's new arena, a 2018 World Cup venue, ahead of its opening

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MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited Spartak Moscow's new stadium, a 2018 World Cup venue, ahead of its official opening.

The 45,000-capacity stadium in northwest Moscow is the only one of 12 planned venues for the World Cup to be built using only private funds.

Russian media quoted Putin as saying the stadium is "good to look at" and "worthy of one of Russia's favourite teams."

He discussed a planned new law which will impose limits on how many foreigners can play for Russian teams in sports such as football and ice hockey.

He said Russians must "play in the leading roles" at their clubs.

Spartak's stadium, called the Otkritie Arena, will open with a friendly between nine-time Russian champion Spartak and Serbia's Red Star Belgrade on Sept. 5.

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