PUTIN ON THE RITZ

Harefield Gazette - - WORLD CUP 2018 - Egypt v Uruguay (June 15), France v Peru (June 21), Ja­pan v Sene­gal (June 24), Mex­ico v Sweden (June 27) Croa­tia v Nigeria (June 16), Ser­bia v Switzer­land (June 22), Spain v Morocco (June 25), Eng­land v Belgium (June 28) Rus­sia v S. Ara­bia (June 14, ope

The most east­erly city host­ing matches, at the foot of the Ural moun­tains, it was where mem­bers of the royal fam­ily were executed after the Oc­to­ber 1917 rev­o­lu­tion. The sta­dium was ini­tially built in 1953. The most west­erly city to stage games. The city was founded by Teu­tonic knights in the 13th cen­tury. Sit­u­ated on the Baltic coast, it re­mains a vi­tal Rus­sian sea­port. The sta­dium has been built for the fi­nals. Built in the 1950s, it was used dur­ing the 1980 Olympic Games. As well as the na­tional team, it has at var­i­ous times been home to city clubs Spar­tak, CSKA and Tor­pedo. Will host the first match and the fi­nal. Built on hills over­look­ing the Volga river, Nizhny Nov­gorod has been a key com­mer­cial city since the 19th cen­tury. One of the sta­di­ums con­structed spe­cially for the tour­na­ment. A historic city famed for its Cos­sack cul­ture, sit­ting on the banks of the Don river 1,000 kilo­me­tres to the south-east of Mos­cow. FC Ros­tov will make the arena their new home once the tour­na­ment is fin­ished. The city for­merly known as Stal­in­grad, site of a piv­otal bat­tle of the Sec­ond World War, is now an in­dus­trial hub, home to a mil­lion in­hab­i­tants. The sta­dium is built on the site of the old Cen­tral ground and will house FC Ro­tor once the fi­nals are over. Home, as the name sug­gests, to Spar­tak Mos­cow, who de­spite a huge fan-base had never had a sta­dium to call their own un­til it opened in 2014. A res­i­den­tial area will be built around it after the fi­nals. The old im­pe­rial cap­i­tal’s sta­dium hosts some big games in­clud­ing what could be a make-or-break sec­ond match for the hosts. It will also host three group matches at the pan-Euro­pean Euro 2020 fi­nals. Cap­i­tal of the Sa­mara re­gion and home to the of­fices of the Rus­sian state when they were evac­u­ated from Mos­cow in the Sec­ond World War. Vladimir Putin buried a time cap­sule to mark the start of con­struc­tion. The cap­i­tal of the Mor­dovia re­gion has a pop­u­la­tion of around 300,000. The sta­dium will be reduced to 25,000 capacity after the tour­na­ment, with the space be­ing freed up for other in­door sports on the same com­plex. The re­sort city on the edge of the Black Sea hosted the 2014 Win­ter Olympics, and the Fisht Sta­dium was pur­pose-built for those Games. It is due to be a train­ing – and match – venue for the Rus­sia na­tional team.

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