October 15, 2015

MOSCOW (AP) The Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has asked for more than $110 million in extra funding to prepare for the World Cup despite a broader push to cut costs, a senior official said Thursday.

Local authorities say the money is needed to repair and upgrade the city's transport system, which relies heavily on a small Soviet-era subway and fleets of buses, as well as revamping buildings located near the new 45,000-seat stadium.

Deputy governor Vladimir Ivanov told Russian news agency Tass that the regional government had asked Russian federal authorities for a loan of more than 7 billion rubles ($112 million). The money will be used for goals which ''aren't directly related to the tournament, but we want to make the city beautiful, good and comfortable, and we're asking for extra funds for that,'' Ivanov was quoted as saying.

Nizhny Novgorod's expenses for the World Cup have previously been estimated at 77.6 billion rubles ($1.25 billion) by local authorities, putting it above the average for the 11 host cities.

The city's request for extra funds comes at a time when Russian officials are keen to cut costs for the tournament, which has a budget of 631.3 billion rubles ($10.7 billion).

That is almost five percent below the figure at the start of the year, although the Sports Ministry is now considering a possible 12.5 billion rubles ($200 million) increase connected to training bases for teams and separate from the Nizhny Novgorod request announced Thursday.

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