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MOSCOW, November 13. /TASS/. Budget funds for "Russia-2018," organizing the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will remain unchanged despite sharp fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, the organizing committee's chief said on Thursday.
“The budget...is based on foreign currency, namely in US dollars, and the sum is allocated by the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA),” director general Alexey Sorokin said. “It has nothing to do with the ruble exchange rate and therefore there will be no revisions,” he said, adding that corrections would not be made to the overall World Cup budget allocated by Russia's government.
“We have defined all general contractors and they are all from Russia,” Sorokin said. “Moreover, all materials are also produced in Russia. There are no reasons to revise the cost of the stadiums’ construction.”
A total budget of 664.1 billion rubles to run the event 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 $14.4 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in August that the number of 12 stadiums across 11 cities selected to host the event would not be changed. Spending on event preparations would be an “uneasy story,” but manageable.
Russia won the bid to host the football competition more than three years ago in a tight race against a joint challenge from England, Portugal and Spain and the combined bid by Belgium and The Netherlands.
Shortly before Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro dropped the curtains on the 2014 World Cup with the final Germany-Argentina clash in July, the baton of global football tournament’s hosting nations passed to Russia. The symbolic handover ceremony of the right to host the competition was held at the iconic 74,700-seat Maracana Stadium in Rio, attended by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Russia's President Putin.
Following an official ceremony held in September 2012 and attended by Blatter, Russia eventually selected 11 from an earlier proposed 13 cities, excluding Krasnodar and Yaroslavl. The final list of 2018 World Cup host cities assembles Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.