FIFA Inspectors Back Russia's World Cup Preparations

Updated: 20 October 2014 17:24 IST

The Sochi Olympic Stadium will need adaption but the 40-strong team of FIFA and Russian organising committee experts had not detected major problems, FIFA inspection committee head Christian Unger told reporters.

FIFA Inspectors Back Russia's World Cup Preparations
A logo of football's international body FIFA. © Reuters

Moscow:

FIFA inspectors on Monday expressed satisfaction with the results of their first tour of stadiums that Russia is preparing for the 2018 World Cup.

The Sochi Olympic Stadium will need adaption but the 40-strong team of FIFA and Russian organising committee experts had not detected major problems, FIFA inspection committee head Christian Unger told reporters.

"It's our first visit to Russia and we're happy with the results for the moment," Unger told the press. "But we would like to see positive changes in our every new visit here."

The commission on Monday inspected the reconstruction of Moscow's iconic Luzhniki stadium, while on Sunday they visited Spartak Moscow's 42,000-seat Otkrytie arena, which went into service in September.

"Spartak's Otkrytie arena is an excellent new stadium," Unger said, adding that he was pleased with the progress of reconstruction works at Luzhniki.

Unger said the commission had received a clear view of the state of Russia's World Cup venues.

Last week the joint delegation visited the Fisht Arena at Sochi, the main venue of 2014 Winter Olympics.

"Fisht arena, which has already hosted the major sporting event - Winter Olympics, is unique in its own way, like any other stadium in Russia that we've already visited," Unger said. "But the stadium needs some adaptation for hosting the World Cup."

The FIFA commission also praised the Kazan Arena, which hosted the World Student Games last year.

"The venue perfectly meets the needs of Rubin Kazan football club and the city in general," Unger said after the inspection. "My first impression: this is an excellent venue."

On Thursday the commission visited the site of the 70,000-seat venue in Saint Petersburg, which is expected to go into service in May 2016.

After the visit Unger said he had no doubts the Zenit Arena would be completed in time for the World Cup. FIFA is now sensitive to deadlines after construction delays getting stadiums ready for the World Cup in Brazil this year.

The delegation will study projects and plans in place for the construction of the remaining World Cup venues.

The joint delegation includes 40 experts from FIFA and local organisers in the areas of designing and building stadiums, preparing and operating competitions, security, transport, logistics, hospitality services, broadcasting, media operations, medical control, staff performance, and marketing and ticketing programmes.



Topics : Russia Federation Internationale de Football Association Football
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