Russia to spend $19.5 bn for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Rio de Janeiro: Russia plans to spend around $19.5 billion for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the majority of the money will be spent towards building 12 stadiums and other relevant infrastructure in the 11 host cities.

These host cities are Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg.

RT TV reported that half of the budget will come from federal funds, while the other half will be from investments. The infrastructure projects would be modernization of road networks, city highways and construction of stadiums.

President Vladimir Putin said Russia will waive a visa regime for 2018 FIFA World Cup participants and fans.

"Russia plans to take the FIFA World Cup a step further in some areas. For example, we passed a federal law, establishing a special visa regime for foreigners who will help to organize the 2018 championship, and enabling not only the official participants, such as the athletes, referees, coaches, and others, but also the fans to visit Russia without visas before and during the competition,” Putin said.

In January, Russian completed the construction of two World Cup stadiums - in Kazan and Sochi.

Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium will be the main venue and will host the opening game, semi-final and the final match. The stadium is undergoing a makeover and would be completed in 2017.

Moscow`s second stadium - Spartak FC Arena - is also on schedule and is just days away from being operational. Work is also on at St. Petersburg`s Krestovsky Island stadium while construction of the remaining stadiums will start this year.

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