Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says hosting the 2018 World Cup will improve the quality of life in Russia, which is spending at least $10 billion on upgrades to infrastructure in 13 cities to prepare to host World Cup games.
"There will be less crime, less drug-taking,'' Putin said. "In the end it's an integrated, exclusively positive influence on the future of the country.''
The World Cup facilities, including a dozen new or revamped soccer stadiums, "Will be left to the people, and will serve them for decades. It will facilitate a healthy way of life," he said.