January 20 - Russian cities building new stadiums to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been warned by the country's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko not to spend too much and urged them to look at the example of Kazan.
Mutko issued the public warning during a visit to Moscow by FIFA President Sepp Blatter to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and check on the preparations for the tournament, which will be hosted in 12 stadiums in 11 cities.
The fears have been raised after the costs of the New Zenit Stadium being built in St Petersburg soared to a reported $1.4 billion (£884 million/€1.1 billion).
Mutko urged organisers to look at New Rubin Kazan Stadium, which is due to be completed in March for a cost of $396 million (£250 million/€298 million).
As well as hosting matches during the World Cup, the Stadium will be used as the main site for this year's Universiade
"This is a highly effective stadium, and it corresponds to all FIFA standards," said Mutko.
But FIFA appear happy with Russia's preparations so far.
"We have had a discussion about the current state of the construction of the stadiums in Russia," said general secretary Jerome Valcke.
"So far, all the construction fits the plans.
"We understands that it is, by definition, a long process."
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