Vladimir Putin, sale the former President of Russia, medstore has stated that he believes that the hosting of the 2018 World Cup will prove a catalyst for positive societal and economic changes in the nation. In the upgrading of infrastructure of the 13 World Cup host cities, discount an estimated US$10bn will be spent, though Putin claimed that the benefits would be far greater than the cost.
Speaking on a live TV call-in show on 16 December, Putin said: “It will have an entirely positive influence on the future of the country. All of this (infrastructure development) will be left to the people and will serve them for decades. It will facilitate a healthy way of life. There will be less crime and less drug-taking.”
Putin also admitted that Sochi may have been doomed were it not to have won the 2014 Winter Games: “I hate to say it, but maybe we would never have done it (in Sochi), but now they are getting roads, gas pipes and new electricity stations,” he added.
“When we talk about the FIFA World Cup, we are talking about 13 cities,” Putin continued. “It won’t be as grand-scale an infrastructure project as in Sochi, but it still requires a lot of work on building roads, expanding airports and train stations. There is a proposal to set up express rail services between the host cities. I have every confidence that we’ll do a great job with the World Cup.”