Russia to spend $8 billion on 2018 World Cup

Moscow, May 24 (IANS) Russia is expected to spend no more than $8 billion to fund the 2018 football World Cup, a steep fall from the previously estimated $16.6 billion, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

“All parameters that could have been cut have been cut. The last figure that (Sports Minister Vitaly) Mutko … came to me with was 250 billion rubles ($7.94 billion),” Xinhua quoted Shuvalov as saying.

The government would choose “optimal” programme for infrastructure rather than the “maximal” one the sports ministry proposed in April.

Shuvalov said the new budget was the “very minimum, with it they’ve squeezed out absolutely everything. There is nothing going to waste,” he added.

The final figure is to be announced in June when President Vladimir Putin signs off on the sports ministry’s World Cup preparations programme.

Ten of Russia’s 12 World Cup arenas are being built from scratch, with Moscow’ Luzhniki Arena, which hosts the opening game, a semifinal and the final, undergoing an $800 million refurbishment.

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