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Russia cutting budget for World Cup

Russia is to cut the budget for hosting the 2018 World Cup as part of plans to slash state expenditure as recession looms.

The government is cutting its spending by 10% across the board after the central bank predicted last month that the economy could contract by up to 4.7% this year.

Sports minister Vitaly Mutko, who is a Fifa executive committee member, said in comments reported by the Tass news agency that World Cup stadiums and associated infrastructure would be exempt from the cuts, but "various organisational issues" and "subsidies to the organising committee" would be cut. He did not provide specific figures.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said earlier this month that he had been assured by Russian President Vladimir Putin that economic problems would not affect the tournament.

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