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 Putin is likely to host World Cup in 2018 despite being forced to lower his sights, - Reuters

President Vladimir Putin is still likely to host the World Cup in 2018 despite an FBI investigation into Russia's winning bid, but the Russian government is being forced by an economic crisis to trim spending on its preparations.

Putin's hopes of staging a tournament that impresses his critics are fading, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

According to the agency, not only is the event mired in scandal because of corruption allegations hanging over FIFA, football's governing body, but the Russian government is being forced by an economic crisis to trim spending on its preparations.

Read more: Blatter resigns amid FIFA corruption scandal

Putin will do all he can to ensure the finals are not taken away from Russia - and to boost his own image as well as his country's - especially as a presidential election is due in 2018. But even he has been forced to lower his sights.

Russia won the right to host the finals in 2010 with a bid promising to overhaul the transport system, build state-of-the-art sport facilities and put several regional cities on the map.

It expects to spend more than 660 billion roubles (8 billion pounds) on preparations including building six new stadiums, hotels, training grounds and health facilities.

But the economy has been hit by Western economic sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, a fall in the price of oil - the country's main export commodity - and the rouble's sharp decline against the U.S. dollar in the past year.

 
 
 
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