Russia is reported to have slashed its World Cup budget ©Getty Images

Russia is reported to have shaved a further six billion rubles (£56 million/$78 million/€71 million) from its spending on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Citing a state decree posted on the Government website, the news agency Reuters said that overall costs for the tournament have now been pruned to 620.9 billion rubles (£5.8 billion/$8.07 billion/€7.4 billion).

The Russian economy has been under pressure for some time, owing to low oil and gas prices and other factors.

This is not the first time that projected spending on the ambitious nation-building project has been cut.

Last June, a much more substantial 30 billion rubles (£283 million/$393 million/€359 million) reduction was ordered, with cuts made to hotels and other infrastructure.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko is overseeing Russia's preparations
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko is overseeing Russia's preparations ©Getty Images

Increased efforts have also been made to source building materials mainly from Russian suppliers.

Speaking to insidethegames last April in Sochi, Vitaly Mutko, the Russian Sports Minister, put the then price of the country’s preparations for the 2018 competition at 660 billion roubles (£6.25 billion/$7.8 billion/€11.4 billion), half of which was at the time earmarked for transport projects, such as the new airport at Rostov-on-Don.

Russia won the right to stage the tournament in Zurich in 2010, beating rival bids from England, Belgium/Holland and Spain/Portugal.