Medvedev Orders Officials to Keep a Lid on World Cup Spending
Published: August 12, 2014 (Issue # 1823)
With preparations under way for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government on Monday to keep spending in check.
"Funds have already been allocated for the construction [of sports facilities, hotels and other infrastructure projects]," Medvedev said at meeting with his deputy prime ministers, according to an official statement.
"The costs are being calculated in different ways," he added. "But taking the current situation into account, we need to follow the financial plan that already exists."
Medvedev said that although he could not promise Team Russia will dominate the tournament on their home turf, Russia "has to do everything else properly" as the tournament's host.
In 2010, Medvedev estimated that hosting the tournament would cost Russia $10 billion. Since then, the anticipated cost has more than doubled.
But this is not be the first time Russia will spend more than expected when hosting an international sports event. The cost of the Sochi Olympics in February spiraled to $51 billion, nearly four times the original estimate.
Despite that aspect though, the Olympics went off largely without a hitch. "We already have experience hosting the Olympics, and it was very successful," Medvedev said. "We must ensure that the World Cup is just as successful."
The country's sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, said Monday that 12 stadiums still need to be built, along with 64 training facilities and 102 training pitches, to accommodate the 32 teams that will participate in the next World Cup.
Mutko also said that 10 host-city airports will need to undergo restoration, and that a brand new airport will be built in the southern metropolis of Rostov-on-Don.
Russia will present the results of its efforts to FIFA this fall during the association's first assessment of the country's preparations.
Russia is set to host the World Cup in 2018 from June 8 to July 8, in 11 cities including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan.