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World football governing body, FIFA is set to allocate $60 million (about N21.7billion) to a Russia 2018 World Cup legacy fund to help develop the sport in the country, following last summer’s tournament which was widely praised as among the best ever editions of the event.
Meeting for the last time on Wednesday, Russia’s Local Organizing Committee (LOC) summarized the financial aspects of the tournament, which was held between June 14 and July 15 across 12 stadiums in 11 host cities.
“FIFA will allocate at least $60 million for the legacy program. The amount will be used to support and develop children’s, women’s football and infrastructure,” said LOC chairman Arkady Dvorkovich.
“We agreed to continue working on the legacy program and its content – this is the most important thing. The legacy program is being discussed by the Ministry of Sports, the RFU [Russian Football Union] and FIFA.”
FIFA created a similar fund for the last World Cup in Brazil, which saw the South American nation receive a reported $100 million.
Russia’s overall spending for the World Cup was equivalent to $10.6 billion, according to Dvorkovich, the majority of which came from the state budget.
The FIFA Council hailed the Russia World Cup, which was the 21st edition of the tournament and was won by France, as the best in history at a meeting in October.
Although close to seven months have passed since the last World Cup, a recent report indicates that almost 2,000 Nigerians are among thousands of World Cup fans still stranded in Russia.
The possibility of these stranded fans giving birth to children cannot be ruled out.
It will be recalled that a Senior Russian lawmaker had called on her countrywomen not to have sex with foreign men visiting the country during the World Cup, saying Russian women “should give birth to our own.”
In an interview with radio station Govorit Moskva, Tamara Pletnyova, the chairperson of the Duma committee on families, women and children, said she was concerned about a rise in single mothers.