It was a good evening for Russian soccer fans but maybe someone in the Kremlin also thought it a good day to bury bad news.>>
>> On Thursday the Russian national team put five past Saudi Arabia to open the Host World Cup in style but while everyone was focused on the soccer the Russian government announced controversial plans to raise the retirement age.
>> I'm Reuters, Jacob Greaves, in Moscow where the stories been making front page news in the side by side with the World Cup removing some of the gloss of the Russian government showpiece spectacle or even in some cases taking top billing.>> As president Vladimir Putin basked in the glow of the opening ceremony, it was Prime Minister Dymitry Medvedev tasked with delivering the unpopular news.
Budgetary constraints and an aging population mean the change has been coming for some time. The proposal raises men's retirement age by five years to 65, for women it's a whopping eight year increase from 55 to 63.>> Oddly enough, President Putin, back in 2005 said he would never allow to raise the retirement age while he is still a president.
>> Reuters Andre Struek explains why the government has been putting off the decision.>> This issue is causing some sort of discontent among ordinary Russians because life expectancy in Russia is low, it is about 66 for a man and 76, 77 for women. And if the retirement age is raised as it is planned now, that would mean that an average man in Russia would live only two years getting his pension before he dies.
>> Many Russians might be distracted by the World Cup for the next month but when the fans leave, the stadiums will be left behind. $11 billion is the amount Russia claims it's spent on playing host, the stadium in St. Petersburg alone is thought to have cost around $1 billion.
As the Kremlin sizes up its fiscal realities, World Cup infrastructure could become monuments to misplaced priorities.