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Russia to host 2018 World Cup despite uneasy financial situation

December 16, 2014, 20:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Russian Football Union president Nikolay Tolstykh, the issue of Russia’s refusing to host the World Cup is out of the question
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergey Bobylev

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Russia considers no plans to give up the 2018 FIFA World Cup, despite an easy financial situation in the country caused by the ruble’s slump, Nikolay Tolstykh, the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said on Tuesday.

“The issue of Russia’s refusing to host the World Cup is out of the question,” Tolstykh told journalists.

Russia’s ruble exchange rate has slumped over the past few weeks to hit a record low of 75 rubles to the dollar on Tuesday.

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 $9.1 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.

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.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are 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. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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