Russia's sports minister is concerned about slow progress in building the stadiums for the 2018 World Cup, which is spread around 11 Russian cities.

Most of the 12 stadiums are being built from scratch. The Fisht Stadium in Sochi, which was used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, is complete. But Moscow's venerable Luzhniki Stadium is to undergo massive renovations.

Vitaly Mutko was quoted by Russian news agencies on Wednesday as saying the pace of designing the stadiums "is causing a certain alarm."

He demanded construction on all arenas begin by the end of the year, the R-Sport news agency said.