Football: Russia cuts number of hotels planned for 2018 World Cup

Football: Russia cuts number of hotels planned for 2018 World Cup
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani (left), Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov (extreme right) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter hold a copy of the World Cup after the announcements that Russia and Qatar are going to be host nations for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and 2018 respectively.

MOSCOW - Russia has slashed the number of hotels it wants to build for the 2018 World Cup in a move that should cut costs for investors hit by the country's economic crisis.

The sports ministry in Moscow has proposed dropping plans for some 25 hotels nationwide - or around 40 per cent of those initially envisioned - but officials insist there will still be enough rooms to cater for fans flocking to the event.

The changes, posted on an official government website, will allow the private investors to save up to 27 billion rubles (S$662 million).

The main cuts were suggested for the Nizhny Novgorod region, where plans for 15 facilities were set to be dropped.

Construction of hotels will also be scrapped in Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don and Saransk.

Russian business daily Vedomosti on Tuesday cited an unnamed official working on the planning of the event as saying that the amount of hotel rooms to be built would still fit in with FIFA demands.

The newspaper also said that the revision of the construction plans was initiated by private investors, who considered it risky to build so many hotels for the showcase event.

Russia has been roiled by an economic crisis caused by the fall in the price of oil and Western sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine.

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