MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. There is a big chance that the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 qualifying match between Russia and Moldova will be held at Moscow’s newly-built Okritie-Arena, which opened early this month, Alexander Atamanenko, the commercial director of the stadium, told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
The qualifying match for the Euro Cup in France is scheduled for October 12 and initially the Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg was announced as the venue for the football match between Russia and Moldova.
“An UEFA expert briefed us yesterday on the requirements concerning the work of broadcasters and media, as well as on advertising from our partners,” Atamanenko said, adding that the expert made no critical remarks in regard to the new stadium, which was built as a home venue for Spartak Moscow FC.
“On the contrary, he was very satisfied with what he saw. We believe that the chance is very big for holding the game here,” he added.
The official UEFA inspection visit to the Otkritie-Arena will be held on September 29 and the decision whether the stadium will be the venue for the Russia-Moldova match is expected by Monday night.
“Hosting the game of the national team is not just a financial matter to us. It is a matter of prestige,” Atamanenko said.
The construction of the Otkritie-Arena began in 2010 with an estimated cost of 14.5 billion rubles (over $402 million). The 42,000-seat stadium occupies an area of 53,758 square meters (13.2 acres) and is almost 53 meters (174 feet) high.
The official opening of the Otkritie-Arena in the north-west of the Russian capital was held on September 5, when Spartak FC played its inaugural home match against Serbian FC Crvena Zvezda.
The new stadium was constructed solely for Spartak FC and will be also one of the venues throughout Russia to host matches of the 2018 World Cup.
Legendary Spartak FC, which throughout its almost one century-long history was 12-time USSR champion, nine-time Russia champion and holder of other numerous titles and trophies, had until recently no stadium of its own where to play home matches.
The club used to play most of its home matches at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, another one of the 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities selected to host the 2018 World Cup matches.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the newly-built stadium and after a tour around the arena he said that it was “one of the best if not the best one in Europe as of today.”