Novatek to aid preparations for Russia’s 2014 World Cup campaign

The Russian Football Union has agreed a one-year sponsorship deal with the country's leading independent natural gas producer, Novatek.

The company is Russia’s second-largest gas producer after state-controlled Gazprom, which declined to exercise its option to extend its sponsorship deal with the RFU in December 2012.

The R-Sport news agency said the RFU’s new deal with Novatek is worth around $8m (€5.88m) – funds that will aid preparations for Russia’s qualification for its first Fifa World Cup in 12 years.

The RFU said: “Undoubtedly, the arrival into Russian football of one of the largest gas extraction companies shows the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation and will help the Russian Football Union reach its goals.”