Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has announced that a deficit in next year's budget for the 2018 FIFA World Cup means officials must seek financial support from private donors, a news report said Friday.
"There is a budget deficit for 2015, so the organizing committee is counting on donations from individuals," Mutko said in comments carried by the online sports portal R-Sport, part of the state-run Rossia Segodnya news agency.
Mutko's comments come after Alexei Sorokin, head of the World Cup organizing committee, said Russia's current economic troubles were not likely to impact preparations for the football championship, since the budget is in foreign currency and thus untouched by this year's drastic devaluation of the ruble currency.
The 2018 World Cup is set to be held in 11 cities throughout the country, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi and Yekaterinburg, among others.
Projects connected to the 2018 World Cup are estimated to cost a total of 664 billion rubles ($13 billion), with half of that coming from Russia's federal budget, Reuters reported.