MOSCOW (AP) — A key Russian government official overseeing preparations for the World Cup next year says there are delays at some sites but no need to worry.

Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who chairs Russia's organizing committee, says that with less than eight months to go until the tournament "there are certain delays on various facilities, but the overall situation is under control and we aren't too worried by it," in comments reported by Russian agency R-Sport.

Mutko singled out the "very difficult engineering structure" of the stadium in Samara, which he said was the only one of the 12 arenas where the pitch has not been laid.

He also called on regional leaders to speed up work on team bases, saying foreign team staff were "disturbed" to see ongoing construction work when they visited some sites.