MOSCOW – Russia's Sports Minister says the government will cut the budget for hosting the 2018 World Cup as part of plans to slash state expenditure while recession looms.
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The Russian government is cutting its spending by 10 percent across the board after the central bank predicted last month that the economy could contract by up to 4.7 percent this year.
Mutko, who is a FIFA executive committee member, said in comments reported by the Tass news agency that World Cup stadiums and associated infrastructure would be exempt from the cuts, but "various organizational issues" and "subsidies to the organizing committee" would be cut. He did not provide specific figures.
This month, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he had been assured by Russian President Vladimir Putin that economic problems would not affect the tournament.