Russia Launches Massive Infrastructure Project To Ensure Country Ready For 2018 World Cup
A "massive infrastructure project" has been launched in Russia to ensure that the country is ready to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to Duncan Mackay of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Russia 2018 Sports Minister and Chair Vitaly Mutko has held a series of meetings in Moscow and the 11 cities that are due to host matches to "see what they require." A list of more than a "thousand projects will now be drawn up and put forward for funding." It is estimated that Russia will spend up to $19B on preparing for the tournament, "half of which will come from the government and the rest from private funding." The list of facilities included in the investment program includes: "stadiums, training sites, team bases, airports, road infrastructure, hotels, security infrastructure, public utility and medical infrastructure, communications and information technology infrastructure, environmental facilities and the facilities required for the fan festivals." In total, the preliminary list for the investment program covers 1,020 facilities (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 12/4).
NEW MEASURES CONSIDERED: The AP reported that fan violence in Russian football remains “a concern and measures including a better ticketing system and security cameras in stadiums will be introduced to ensure fans are safe during the 2018 World Cup." FIFA World Cup 2018 CEO Alexey Sorokin said he is "disappointed" that Russia continues to be associated with football violence while admitting "more needs to be done to stamp out the problem." Sorokin also "struck out at critics" who have suggested that Russia and 2022 World Cup host Qatar won their bids unfairly. Sorokin: "We are clean and we didn’t witness any hints from anyone, certainly not exco [executive committee] members or those around them, of improper activities. If anyone had any information, any proof would be out already. It seems nobody has anything tangible" (AP, 12/4).