Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country will continue to prepare to host the 2018 World Cup, despite scrutiny from critics who question such a large expense. CCTV America’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
Concerns rise over growing cost of 2018 World Cup in RussiaRussian President Vladimir Putin said his country will continue to prepare to host the 2018 World Cup, despite scrutiny from critics who question such a large expense. CCTV America's Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
Despite international calls for the 2018 World Cup to be taken away from Russia over its actions in Ukraine, President Putin has won public support from FIFA’s Sepp Blatter.
“I have no doubt that Russia will ensure all works will be completed on time and of course, to the highest level. We already have a good experience of holding the largest sports competitions such as the Olympics in Sochi.” Putin said.
Sochi was only supposed to cost $10 billion, but ended up costing $50 billion, the most expensive Olympics in history.
The 90,000-seat Luzhniki stadium, where the 2018 World Cup final is expected to take place, has already seen renovations totaling $540 million. The overall budget for the project is estimated at $20 billion, but Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said it will surpass that spending level and critics see the risk of spiraling costs, as in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
At the time of the 2009 bid, Russia’s world cup was estimated at $10 billion. While it is still 3.5 years away, the estimate is already twice that.
There are other criticisms too. Piara Power, the head of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force, has also called for Putin to speak out after a series of racist chants and incidents at football games in Russia, saying, “this has got to stop.”
Some have also called for the 2018 world cup bid to be re-done after claims of corruption in the bidding process, which Russia denies.