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MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Russian organizers of the 2016 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship announced on Thursday they decided to cut the budget, allocated for the annual global tournament, by 30% down from the initial sum of 300 million to 210 million rubles (from $4.7 million to $3.3 million).
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are scheduled to be held in the country’s capital of Moscow and in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22.
"The Sports Ministry initially requested the sum of 300 million rubles to finance the tournament," Yulia Lenda, in charge of the Sports Ministry’s department on the optimization of the budget costs, said. "The Finance Ministry, however, asked to optimize the requested sum."
"We have optimized it by 30% down to 210 million rubles, but the money was not allocated as of yet," she added.
"It is beyond any doubts that we will organize the world championship, but we will be forced to cut on our unified [national] calendar plans, particularly in the run-up to Rio [de Janeiro]," Lenda said. "We will have to touch at the raw."
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko pledged in May to organize the 2016 IIHF World Championship at the highest possible level.
"Russia is highly respected by the IIHF," Mutko said in May during this year’s championship, hosted by the Czech Republic. "Everyone in the organization is confident that Russia will hold the world championship at the highest possible level."
Russia handed over its champion’s title at this year’s world championship in the Czech Republic to Canada after the crushing 1-6 defeat in the final match, which set the new attendance world record of over 741,600 spectators.
The 2010 and 2014 Olympic Champions Canada were indeed hungry for the world champion’s title, which they last held in 2007, and barraged into the final match against the reigning world champions Russia in a crushing winning spree boasting a record of 60-15 (goals scored and goals missed).
On the whole, the Canadians weighty 6-1 win is also proved by the statistics, which shows that the reigning Olympic champions outshot the Russian squad in the final match by the whopping 37-12 margin.
Russian squad’s Head Coach Oleg Znarok, who led the team to the world championship’s title last year in Belarus, praised his team’s game during the final match in Prague saying the players kept fighting team Canada until the very last minute.