Russia announce major financial injections into sport next year
RUSSIAN Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has announced that approximately £900 million ($1.4bn) will be spent on sport in the country next year.
PLAYING HOST: Russia will host a number of major sporting events in the coming years, including the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (Getty Images)
Performances on the global sporting stage by Russia last year were far from impressive and after finishing 11th in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics medal table Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rang the changes in terms of administration personnel.
Russia are set to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and a repeat performance in Sochi will simply not do for sports mad Putin, who is determined to see his nation excel in sporting events, just as was the case prior to the break-up of the USSR.
Putin already shown a willingness to splash the cash in order to achieve his goal but as yet the post-Soviet Union generation is failing to perform and time is running out with Russia set to host a number of high profile sporting events in the coming years.
Moscow will host the 2013 World Athletics Championships while 2018 will see the FIFA World Cup go to Russia for the first time - but they did not even qualify for this year's tournament in South Africa.
And Mutko confirmed no expense will be spared in increasing sporting participation numbers in Russia.
"In the state budget for 2011, 43 billion rubles will be spent on sport, in general," said Mutko.
"Almost a third of this money will be spent on amateur sport. Right now we have around 25 million Russian people who do sport on a regular basis. And our main goal is to increase this figure to 28 million."