Russian Football Requires $6.9Bln Through 2020 – Officials

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The development of Russian domestic football through 2020 will require $6.9 billion in funding, the country’s football leaders have concluded in a document seen by R-Sport.

MOSCOW, March 20 (R-Sport) – The development of Russian domestic football through 2020 will require $6.9 billion in funding, the leaders of the sport in the country have concluded in a document seen by R-Sport.

The Russian Football Union is seeking to develop the sport at the grass-roots level in three key areas in its strategic plan through 2020.

First, it seeks to create a modern infrastructure to encourage mass participation among the public; second, to focus on training staff to serve the football industry as well as implementing educational programs in schools; and third, perfecting the system of holding competitions across the country.

Totaling up the cost, officials arrived at a figure of 250 billion rubles ($6.89 billion).

"The greater part of that (around 80 percent) is the cost of building new covered pitches and stadiums," the document states. "And also the reconstruction of existing sports facilities and equipping reserve training centers with artificial pitches with floodlights and heating," it adds.

It is not clear if the development plans are separate from, or take into consideration, the work currently underway to prepare Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

Aside from the 12 new or refurbished arenas, the Russian Sports Ministry is to offer some 64 training centers for the tournament's 32 teams, each with its own top-notch facilities.

Russia is planning to spend a total of nearly $19 billion on the 2018 World Cup, with about half expected to come from the private sector.

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