World Cup 2018 will be all-time best – Putin

After Russia was awarded the right to host the World Cup 2018, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a press-conference in Zurich where he thanked FIFA and promised a visa-free regime for guests of the sporting spectacle.

Putin stressed that Russia deeply respects those who lost the competition to host the World Cup and expressed no doubts that they would conduct the championship brilliantly and promised that next time it will be Russia’s turn to support their bids.

The Russian PM predicted that any fierce competition eventually transforms itself into fruitful co-operation, so the countries that lost will be in attendance in Russia with the World Cup 2018, but not financially, since Moscow has enough funds, though consultations would be useful.

“There is no place for doubts whether we can do it in due time or meet the quality requirements,” he said, bringing in the example of Sochi, where the construction of the 2014 Winter Olympics’ infrastructure is in full swing.

Vladimir Putin estimated the budget of the future World Cup at $10 billion (300 billion roubles), noting that some stadiums are already under construction or being reconstructed – for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Kazan Universiade 2013.

In order to minimize expenses, the Russian government plans to involve private capital to the maximum. In this regard, Putin mentioned Roman Abramovich and his billions, saying “He can fork up a little bit – he’s got so much money.”

The head of the Russian government also announced that reconstruction of two stadiums in Moscow would be financed by Lukoil company and VTB bank, while Gazprom will defray expenses of constructing a new stadium in St. Petersburg.

Putin specifically emphasized that Russia has already unleashed full-scale transport infrastructure programmes which includes the cities that will host the World Cup 2018. Despite certain problems, the next eight years before the championship will be used to solve any infrastructure problems.