MOSCOW:  Further details have emerged over how Russia will spend a budget of $20.75bn on preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with local organising committee chairman Vitaly Mutko stating that the staging concept has been designed to involve more than 70pc of the population.

The latest development comes after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week signed off on the Infrastructure Programme for the World Cup at a cabinet meeting.

Precise details of the programme were scarce at the time, but on Tuesday provided further insight. Just over a half of the budget – 336.2 billion rubles – will be provided through federal funding.

The majority of these funds will be spent on preparing sporting and transport infrastructure facilities, as well as on the provision of security. The programme outlines that regions hosting the matches are investing, overall, 101.6 billion rubles from their regional budgets.

This leaves an additional 226.3 billion rubles to be raised from “non-budget sources”. Private investor funds are expected to invest primarily in the building of new hotels and modernisation of airport complexes in the host cities.

The infrastructure programme will consist of 292 facilities and events deemed essential for holding the World Cup.

These include 12 stadiums, 113 training sites, 62 hotels, 11 airports, communal and transport infrastructure necessary for the World Cup, and electricity, IT and communications infrastructure.

“A colossal amount of work has been carried out to prepare for this infrastructure programme,” said Mutko, who also serves as Russia’s Minister of Sport.

“We have gathered and analysed data on the current status of infrastructure in all regions holding the FIFA World Cup. There are no other programmes of their kind. Over 1,000 proposals have been studied. The results of this work have been used to develop an optimal scenario for infrastructure preparations, according to which we selected only those facilities without which such a major tournament could not be held.

“These facilities are capable of bringing maximum returns on investments in the long term, and leave a 2018 FIFA World Cup legacy that will contribute to regional development and the economic growth of the country.”

When Russia won the bid to host the World Cup in 2010, Russian President Vladimir Putin projected the total cost at about $10bn.

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.

Mutko added that the scale of preparations for Russia 2018 will go beyond the 11 cities selected for hosting status. He said: “The concept for hosting the FIFA World Cup has been designed in such a way that almost 70% of the population will be involved in the preparations and hosting of the tournament.”


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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