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Sports Minister Sets Out to Rectify World Cup 2018 Broken Deadlines

Published: March 13, 2014 (Issue # 1801)



  • The Zenit football stadium construction site on Krestovsky Island. Costs has already exceeded $1.1 billion.
    Photo: Florstein / Wiki Commons

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says he is alarmed by the slow pace of designing the countrys stadiums for the 2018 World Cup and threatened heads will roll if the situation is not rectified.

All but one of the 12 arenas needed for the tournament are being entirely or practically built from scratch in a project costing $20 billion, a figure that includes private sector contributions and the associated infrastructure. Seven remained at the design stage as of January.

If construction is yet to begin, the arenas should at least be well into the design phase, Mutko said. But the reality appears somewhat different.

Related: Sports Ministry to Oversee Stadium Construction for World Cup 2018

The pace of designing the stadiums gives cause for alarm, Mutko said at a meeting with regional leaders. Deadlines are being broken. There are problems in every region, he added.

Each of the 11 regions building stadiums is being given a 3.6 billion ruble ($100 million) subsidy to choose a location and finalize a stadium design, Mutko said.

Whoever is unable to do this, lets replace them at this early stage and everything will fall into place, he said. Our task is that the [stadium] concepts conform to FIFA standards.

Related: Fed Up FC Zenit Decide to Build Own Stadium

Three stadiums for the tournament are all but finished: the Kazan Arena, the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, and Spartak Moscows new home, the Otkritie Arena in the capital.

There have been high-profile problems with at least two others.

Zenit St. Petersburgs new arena has suffered several delays and spiraling costs to $1.1 billion in a case labeled disgraceful by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. A tentative opening is set for 2017, the same year the arena is slated to host the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Yekaterinburgs stadium, meanwhile, became embroiled in a political tussle in December after the city mayor, an opposition figure, demanded a completely new building rather than a revamp of its existing stadium.

Yevgeny Roizman told RIA Novosti that building a new arena elsewhere would be considerably cheaper than a $380 million plan to renovate the Central Stadium.

The venue for the opening game, a semifinal and the final, Moscows Luzhniki Stadium, is undergoing a complete refurbishment.

Mutko in January demanded that construction for all arenas start by the end of 2014.





 


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The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



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Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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