Bank expects World Cup to be positive for Russian economy
This year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia will deliver a "short-term" boost to the country’s economy, according to the Russian central bank.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow on Monday to discuss the preparations for the tournament, which takes place in the country from 14 June to 15 July.
In an email to Reuters, the central bank said spending on the World Cup has already helped support the economy, which returned to growth last year after a two-year downturn.
The bank added: “Concerning the second and third quarters of 2018, the short-term positive impact on the Russian economy will be the growth in jobs and increase in demand for consumer products and services.”
However, it also warned that the World Cup could contribute to a spike in inflation, saying: “A small, short-term increase in prices for some goods and services (food, entertainment, hotels) is possible, which will lead to profits for a few companies.”
Russian president Putin (pictured, right) had been due to host Infantino (left) at his residence in Sochi, but remained in Moscow following a plane crash near the Russian capital on Sunday in which 71 people died.
The pair last met at the World Cup draw at the Kremlin last December.
Ahead of yesterday's meeting, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Russia continues preparations for the World Cup, much of the work has already been done. These are the issues that will be discussed with Mr Infantino.”
Peskov added that Putin had a “very good and constructive personal relationship” with the Fifa president.
• The Court of Arbitration For Sport has reduced the ban imposed on former Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea from five years to 15 months.
Chung was banned for ethics violations relating to South Korea’s unsuccessful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
However, CAS said that it had found “mitigating factors” to reduce the ban, which it said had been enacted for “improper lobbying” and also annulled a fine of SFr50,000 ($53,585).
The court ruled that although Chung was guilty of ethics violations, it was to “a far lesser degree than found by the Fifa instances.”
Chung was a Fifa vice-president from 1994 until 2011.