Russia’s 2018 World Cup stadiums to be ready in time: FIFA

Volgograd (Russia), April 8 (IANS) All sports facilities and accompanying infrastructure, constructed to host the matches of the 2018 World Cup, will be commissioned in Russia in time, a FIFA official has said.

A delegation from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) is currently on its third planned inspection visit to Russia to evaluate the country’s preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reports Tass.

On Thursday, FIFA inspectors visited Volgograd, one of Russia’s 11 cities selected to host the matches of the much-anticipated global football tournament.

Christian Unger, the head of FIFA 2018 football championship preparation department, told journalists after the inspection of the currently under-construction stadium in Volgograd he was glad to see for himself how the construction of not only the arena, but the whole accompanying infrastructure as well, has been progressing.

He said FIFA inspectors had the chance to see how the offered plans were implemented in practice and they were confident that all facilities in Volgograd and in the rest of the Russian regions would be commissioned in time.

The new 45,000-seats capacity Pobeda (Victory) Arena for the 2018 World Cup will be constructed on the site of the current Central Stadium. The dismantling of the Central Stadium was launched in mid-October and the estimated construction cost of the new arena stands at $420 million.

Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad, is a city of over one million population stretching alongside the Volga River.

The current 10-day inspection visit of FIFA delegates kicked off on Monday in St. Petersburg. Besides Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg and Volgograd, the delegation is scheduled to visit before April 14 the cities of Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Samara, Yekaterinburg and Sochi.

The delegation is headed by Alexei Sorokin, the director general of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) Russia-2018, and also includes among others FIFA competitions director Colin Smith and Christian Unger, the head of FIFA 2018 football championship preparation department.

During the previous two visits, the FIFA delegates closely inspected Russia’s construction process of the stadiums and accompanying infrastructure for the upcoming world championship. This time FIFA inspectors plan to focus on the discussions how work of all involved services at stadiums would be organised and coordinated during the football matches of the 2018 World Cup.

A total of 11 host cities have been chosen to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia.

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