MOSCOW, September 7. /TASS/. World’s football governing body FIFA is optimistic in its forecasts regarding the construction of the football arena in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg, one of the 11 cities across the country selected to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, FIFA’s Director of Competitions Colin Smith said on Wednesday.
Smith, who is currently on an official visit in Moscow, said FIFA delegates previously visited the construction site of the newly-built venue in St. Petersburg and made optimistic forecasts. The FIFA official added that the issue of the stadium’s construction could be discussed in detail after his another visit to St. Petersburg in the coming days.
The construction of the stadium in St. Petersburg, intended to host football matches of both the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup, has been marred by numerous delays and rising costs as well as by tense relations between the city authorities as the customer and the stadium’s general contractor, Inzhtransstroy-SPb.
Last month the contract with Inzhtransstroy-SPb was severed and the authorities of St. Petersburg signed a deal with a new general contractor - Metrostroy.
The stadium was laid down in the western portion of Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg in 2007. The construction project was amended three times: in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Each time, the cost of the arena was increased from the initial estimate of 6.7 billion rubles ($268 million at the average ruble/US dollar exchange rate for 2007) to possible 43.8 billion rubles ($680.5 million at the current exchange rate).
Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010. The victory came following a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.
The country 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.