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Work on 2018 World Cup 'will not run over budget'

The budget for Russia's hosting of the World Cup in 2018 will not run over budget, in spite of the need to equip the host stadiums with some of the finest facilities on the planet.

That is the promise being made by Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who already has one eye on what purpose the stadia will be used for after the tournament has finished, in addition to football.

He recently visited Moscow’s Otkritie-Arena, one of the 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities selected to host the 2018 World Cup matches, and noted that progress is well on schedule and budget,

For a while it was thought that the budget earmarked to host the games in 2010 - 300 billion roubles ($6.4 billion) - could be exceeded due to the rising cost of materials, but Mr Shuvalov laid this to rest after his trip to the Otkritie-Arena, noting that the budget will not waver.

One major source of uncertainty has been the chief venue of the tournament and the other stadium in Moscow - Luzhniki, which is currently under reconstruction - but any doubt about how it will be reconstructed and used after the World Cup ends is unnecessary, the First Deputy Prime Minister stated.

"After reconstruction, the stadium will preserve its historical outlook but will have a state-of-the-art arena. It is the most difficult but, apparently, the best option," he elaborated.

Work at the Luzhniki Arena was launched in autumn 2013 and, when complete, the stadium will boost the spectator capacity of 81,000 seats, representing the second time that the stadium has been reconstructed - something that also took place in the run up of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.

The only issues of any note surround the stadia in Rostov and Kaliningrad, according to Mr Shuvalov, who added that Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko will soon visit Kaliningrad to make a final decision on the site for the future arena.

On a wider scale, work at many of the stadiums will either come under budget or in line with expectations, meaning that those that do fall behind can be allocated any money that has been saved to ensure the overall project remains on track.

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