Russia winning to stage the World Cup in 2018 might have an unadulterated piece of good news for most of the Russian people. But it’s clear now: that prize came with the price. Billionaire Roman Abramovich is likely to invest heavily and to take a key role in preparations for World Cup 2018 that will mainly take place in Moscow, along with few other Russian cities.
At the press-conference in Zurich, following FIFA’s decision announcement, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin suggested that oligarch Abramovich should “open his wallet” and help pay for the championship.
Altogether Russia’s federal budget will allocate $ 9.6 billion in funding toward the World Cup, excluding airports and roads. The private sector is expected to contribute what could be $20 billion to $50 billion.
Putin added that Abramovich could ease government spending on hosting the World Cup by investing privately. “I don’t rule out that Mr. Abramovich may take part in one of these projects,” Putin commented. “Let him open his wallet a little. It’s no big deal — he won’t feel the pinch. He has plenty of money.” (At the moment, Abramovich’s personal net worth is estimated at $11.2 billion by Forbes magazine).
Several other Russian investors are expected to finance construction for the World Cup. For Instance, Lukoil, Russia’s largest oil company, is already building a stadium for Spartak Moscow Football Club. Another stadium will be constructed with financial help from state-owned lender VTB Group.