ST. PETERSBURG, June 20 (Prime/R-Sport) – Russia will spend about 440 billion rubles ($13 billion) on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the country’s finance minister said Thursday.
“This is about 340 billion [rubles ($10 billion)] from the federal budget – for roads, infrastructure, ports. There will also be about 100 billion [rubles ($3 billion)] from the regions,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in St. Petersburg, where officials and business leaders have gathered for an international economic forum.
The minister added that an additional 250 billion rubles ($7 billion) in financing for the football championship would come from the private sector.
Earlier that day, Russia’s sports minister, Vitaly Mutko, described attracting investment from the private sector as a “challenge.” He added that such funds would also go toward building or modernizing infrastructure.
FIFA sets out a wide range of requirements for each World Cup arena, ranging from capacity to media and VIP facilities. However, the official in charge of compliance said Thursday that Russia was struggling to meet design standards for all 12 stadiums.
The Zenit stadium in St. Petersburg has been blighted by problems. In March, auditors said they had identified $4.9 million in “unnecessary costs” and a further $9.2 million spent on unusable seats. A worker was killed by a piece of falling metal at the site in March, and prosecutors filed 15 charges against a company for employing illegal migrant workers on the project.
On Thursday, Sports Minister Mutko set a final deadline of May 2016 for that stadium’s completion.