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MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Japanese national football team’s official Naoki Tsumura paid a visit to Moscow’s Otkritie-Arena to assess the facility for his team’s possible use of it as a training site during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the stadium’s press service said in an statement on Friday.
"Having inspected teams’ locker rooms and warm-up areas, Mr. Tsumura was impressed with their spaciousness," the statement said. "The [Japanese] delegate also positively assessed the quality of the football field as well as the news conference hall, as over a hundred of journalists always follow everywhere the team from the country of the Rising Sun."
Starting September 1, international delegates were allowed to pay inspection visits to stadiums and training sites in Russia intended for the matches of the 2018 World Cup, to be held at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across the country.
The delegates from their national teams have an opportunity to inspect the stadiums and the accompanying infrastructure as well as provided opportunities for hotel accommodations.
Moscow has two stadiums to be the venue for the global football championship in less than three years and they are the recently-built Otkritie-Arena, which opened on September 5, 2014 and Moscow’s old Luzhniki Arena, which is currently under reconstruction and is intended, according to the organizers, to host the final match of the 2018 World Cup.
The construction of the Otkritie-Arena began in 2010 with an estimated cost of 14.5 billion rubles (over $402 million at that time’s exchange rate). 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 northwest of the Russian capital was held on September 5, when Spartak FC played its inaugural home match against Serbian FC Crvena Zvezda. The first match of the international level was played at the Okritie-Arena on October 12, when Rusia played against Moldova in a qualifier for the UEFA Euro Cup 2016 in France.
The new stadium was constructed solely for 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.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko announced on Thursday that Moscow’s Otkritie-Arena was currently the best prepared stadium for the matches of the glob]al football tournament, to be held in less than three years.
"Spartak’s stadium [Otkritie-Arena] is the best prepared," Mutko, who is also the chairman of the 2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), told journalists. "It is simply because the game of football is already being played there."
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The country won the bid to host the global football championship over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
Russia selected 11 host cities 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. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.