MOSCOW: Russia’s Sports Ministry, possibly encouraged by confidence that its hosting of the 2018 World Cup is not endangered by any fall-out from the FIFAgate scandal, is ready to increase the budget for preparations.
Proposals for a 2pc increase come a month after the qualifying competition draw was staged in St Petersburg in the presence of President Vladimir Putin. The increase would add about R12.5bn (€158m/$175m) to the budget, taking the total allocated for preparations to R644bn.
The rise would reverse a trend of the Russian government reducing costs allocated to the tournament over the past year. The original budget of R664.1bn for the tournament was unveiled in 2012 before cuts.
The document outlining the proposed cuts focused on training bases to be built for the World Cup, with the total number to be reduced from 48 to 37.
According to Russian news agency R-Sport, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who leads the local organising committee for the tournament, described the changes as a “rebalancing within the programme” rather than an “increase in expenditure.”
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