MOSCOW: Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has revealed that the cost of staging the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be more than US$20.65bn – which is around double the initial projections.

The Associated Press reported that Medvedev told a Cabinet meeting on Thursday that $10.5 bn of the cost would come from the federal budget. It is not clear where the rest of the budget will be found.

Russia 2018 last month published its 2012 Annual Report with local organising committee chief executive Alexey Sorokin stating that the main priorities for this year are the finalisation of the World Cup infrastructure programme and monitoring of stadium development.

The budget for all infrastructure development related to the World Cup had previously been placed at $19.2bn. Out of a long list of 1,129 projects initially submitted by the regional governments, a preliminary shortlist of 350 top priority facilities has been drafted and submitted to the government.

When Russia won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin projected the total cost at about $10 billion. The country has also been hit by inflated costs for another major sporting event in the shape of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The cost of Sochi’s Games has quadrupled to about $51bn. Commenting on the issue of public investment in the World Cup at the Soccerex European Forum in April, Russia 2018 deputy ceo Alexander Djordjadze said: “There are always a few critics when you are engaged in such large projects, but this is mostly political rhetoric. The most successful way to achieve social change is investing in major projects such as the World Cup.”

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Friday, June 14, 2013

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