The organisers of the 2018 Fifa World Cup have claimed that the tournament added more than $14bn (€12.2bn) to the Russian economy.
The figure was revealed in a report on the economic, social and environmental impact of the tournament by Alexey Sorokin, the chief executive of Russia’s World Cup Organising Committee, and comes at a time when the value of hosting Fifa’s showpiece competition has come under question.
The previous two World Cups, held in South Africa and Brazil, left a legacy of expensive white elephant stadiums and failed to generate much economic incentive in either country.
Sorokin’s report, however, claims that the World Cup created up to 315,000 across the 11 host cities, and will continue to have an impact on Russia’s economy for the next half decade. In announcing the report to a conference in Qatar, Sorokin himself admitted that the figure was ‘quite surprising.’
If the estimate is accurate, the figure would represent a positive World Cup for Russia, and welcome news for Fifa. The $14bn figure comfortably exceeds the $10.5bn (£9.1bn) Russia invested into hosting the tournament.