MOSCOW: Russia, increasingly aware of the PR value of the World Cup as other sports stay away or withdraw events, has raised government spending on next year’s finals yet again, by $325m writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

A statement, without any formal explanation, has provided a second computation of expenditure in three months which lifts total spending to $10.8bn with federal budget funds now making up almost 55pc of total spending.

Time has suddenly become a factor with Russia staging the warm-up Confederations Cup in June, amid concern about previous cuts in the building programme for hotels and other infrastructure projects.

Only last November the government provided a further $2.5bn to finance World Cup hosting.

The finals will run from June 14 to July 15 at 12 at stadia across the country including two in Moscow.

Other cities involved will be Kaliningrad, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St. Petersburg, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg.

Cameroon completed the Confederations Cup line-up when they defeated Egypt 2-1 in Gabon at the weekend to win the African Nations Cup.