Rus­sia pan­ics over sta­dium con­struc­tion

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

RUS­SIAN au­thor­i­ties and FIFA are con­cerned over a dis­pute that has halted con­struc­tion of a key World Cup 2018 sta­dium, Sports Minister Vi­taly Mutko said yes­ter­day.

Work on the fu­tur­is­tic 68,000-seater arena in Saint Peters­burg, Rus­sia’s sec­ond city, was frozen last month be­cause of a con­trac­tual dis­agree­ment be­tween lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and the firm over­see­ing the con­struc­tion.

The space­ship-shaped sta­dium is sched­uled to be a host for seven World Cup games in 2018, in­clud­ing a semi-fi­nal and the third­place play­off.

But it is also one of four venues cho­sen to host FIFA Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup matches, which start in June next year. Four games are to be played there, in­clud­ing the fi­nal.

“We’re se­ri­ously con­cerned with the con­struc­tion of the sta­dium in Saint Peters­burg,” In­ter­fax agency quoted Mutko as say­ing, adding that the sit­u­a­tion was “un­der the control” of Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

The minister added that the de­lay threat­ens to see the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup games shifted to another venue and that a de­ci­sion on this would be taken in au­tumn.

“In Oc­to­ber we will visit Saint Peters­burg to­gether with FIFA rep­re­sen­ta­tive to fi­nalise the de­ci­sion,” Mutko said.

In May, FIFA ex­pressed con­cern over the sit­u­a­tion and called for “tighter pro­ject coordination” dur­ing a visit to the venue.

Con­struc­tion of the sta­dium be­gan in 2007, but has hit by a spi­ralling bills and missed dead­lines.

The venue will serve as a home ground for Zenit St Peters­burg af­ter the tour­na­ment.

Rus­sia will host the 2018 World Cup at 12 sta­di­ums in 11 cities: Moscow, Saint Peters­burg, Kazan, Nizhny Novo­gorod, Vol­gograd, Ros­tov-on-Don, Kalin­ingrad, Sa­mara, Yeka­ter­in­burg, Saransk and Sochi. –

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