Putin, In­fantino swap praise ahead of World Cup R

The Myanmar Times - - World Cup 2018 -

USSIAN Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino have praised each other’s work pre­par­ing for the World Cup. Putin had a warm re­la­tion­ship with Sepp Blat­ter, who led FIFA when Rus­sia was awarded the World Cup host­ing rights in 2010. Blat­ter was ousted and banned in fall­out of cor­rup­tion scan­dals.

Putin says In­fantino “stood at the helm of FIFA in very com­pli­cated times but he is very good as our front­man, as a true fighter.”

The FIFA pres­i­dent has “al­ways pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment to­ward our coun­try,” Putin says.

With hun­dreds of thou­sands of fans ex­pected to travel to the World Cup, Putin says visi­tors should “feel the hospi­tal­ity and wel­com­ing na­ture” of Rus­sia.

In­fantino praises Putin for “mak­ing us feel part of the same team” and thanks him “from our hearts.”

FIFA’s head of fi­nance says he “an­tic­i­pates strong rev­enues” lead­ing to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Thomas Peyer tells mem­ber fed­er­a­tions that in­come from broad­cast­ing rights will add up to 53 per­cent of FIFA’s bud­geted in­come of $6.56 bil­lion over the next four years. Around 70 per­cent is al­ready con­tracted.

The ex­tra in­come lets FIFA prom­ise $1.5 mil­lion an­nual grants to each of its 211 mem­ber fed­er­a­tions. That’s a 20 per­cent in­crease.

FIFA’s bud­get, which is typ­i­cally con­ser­va­tive and even­tu­ally ex­ceeded, calls for a $100 mil­lion over­all profit through 2022. That should help lift FIFA’s cash re­serves close to $2 bil­lion.

– AP

Photo: AP

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin, cen­ter, at­tends the FIFA congress with FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino, left, on the eve of the opener of the 2018 soc­cer World Cup in Moscow, Rus­sia on Wed­nes­day.

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