Russia to cut budget for 2018 World Cup, as economy continues to struggle

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As the threat of recession looms in Russia, the nation is trying to slash public expenditure wherever it can.

On Thursday it was revealed that the World Cup budget will take a hit in the latest round of cuts, as Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko revealed that the $9.6 billion budget could be chopped by 10 percent as the Russian government continues to take action to offset the falling oil prices and international sanctions impacting the nation.

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Mutko, a FIFA executive committee member, revealed that no more stadiums will be scaled down after two venues have already shrunk in size due to economic issues. He told Tass news agency that FIFA will not allow any more changes to their current venues.

“FIFA won’t give us any more concessions and all the stadiums should be 45,000-capacity,” Mutko said. “The ticketing program has started, it’s economics, it’s FIFA’s earnings. The fact that they lowered two of the stadiums to 35,000 people for us, according to their projections they already lost $60 million.”

Who is footing the bill for Russia 2018?

The government is putting up over half of the cash, around $4.5 billion, while the rest is coming from regional authorities and state-owned companies.

With the central bank in Russia predicting the economy could contract by between 4.5 and 4.7 percent in 2015, we may see more budget cuts in the coming months as what was promised to be the grandest World Cup tournament in history may look a little bit smaller by the time 2018 arrives.