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Ruble exchange rate’s drop unlikely to affect Russia’s 2018 World Cup budget

October 15, 2014, 19:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There are neither intention nor the possibilities of increasing the budget’s financial spending, says the director general of Russia-2018 organizing committee Alexey Sorokin

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© ITAR-TASS/Nikolay Alexandrov

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Russia’s planned budget for hosting 2018 FIFA World Cup will not be adjusted for the recent sharp fall in the ruble’s exchange rate, Alexey Sorokin, the director general of Russia-2018 organizing committee, said on Wednesday.

“We have neither the intention nor the possibilities of increasing the budget’s financial spending,” Sorokin said. “The tendency toward the import substitution, which currently exists in many industries, will be also important in the preparations for the championship.”

The US currency rose to above 41 rubles to the US dollar on the Moscow Exchange on Wednesday amid rapidly declining oil prices. The ruble has been falling for seven consecutive trading sessions and the national currency has shed 2.6 rubles against the US dollar in the past four weeks.

“However, we should not say that there would be no budget) adjustments at all,” Sorokin said. “If we speak about the construction of the stadiums in particular, there are many areas in which we cannot do without import purchases. We will try to find a certain balance to keep within the earlier announced budget.”

The total budget of 664.1 billion rubles for the organization of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was announced in 2012. This figure stood at $20.5 billion based on the 2012 average exchange rate. If converted to the current exchange rate this figure drops to $16.3 billion.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in August that the number of 12 stadiums in a total of 11 cities selected to host the World Cup would not be changed. The Russian president said, however, that in terms of financial spending on the World Cup preparations for Russia would be an “uneasy story,” but manageable.

FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over three years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Shortly before Brazil’s fabulous city of Rio de Janeiro dropped the curtains on the 2014 World Cup with the final Germany-Argentina clash on July 13, the baton of the global football tournament’s hosting nations was passed on to Russia.

The symbolic hand-over ceremony of the right to host the World Cup tournament was held at the iconic 74,700-seat capacity Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro and was attended by FIFA President Blatter, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russian President Putin.

Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 out of the earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of the 2018 World Cup host cities includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia.

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