KAZAN, October 20. /TASS/. The majority of Russian football arenas selected to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches are currently at a decent level of preparedness and raise no concerns, Alexei Sorokin, the director general of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), told TASS on Thursday.
"We have neither major concerns, nor any anxieties," Sorokin said in an interview with TASS. "To be sincere, however, I can tell you that we have delays in the construction of the stadium in Samara, but on the whole the situation has straightened out. The (stadium) construction in St. Petersburg regained its pace and we are expecting it to be commissioned in December."
Speaking about the preparation and construction works in Samara, Sorokin said "there is a delay, which can be compensated."
"We have ample time as the commission term is December 2017, which means that we have more than a year," he said. "There was a minor drawback due to variety of reasons, but the current tempo is satisfactory."
The city of Samara is one of the 11 Russian cities selected to host the matches for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium in the city of Samara, which was founded in 1586 and boasts a current population of 1.13 million, has a planned 45,000-seat capacity.
Samara is a major transport hub thanks to its international airport, major railway station and busy river port. During the World War II, Samara, formerly known as Kuibyshev, became the second capital of the Soviet Union as all government departments and diplomatic personnel were evacuated there from Moscow.
Places of interest for visitors include Stalin’s massive 37-meter deep bunker and the beautiful nature preserve, Zhigulevskie Hills, on the Volga River. An iconic landmark of Samara is a 68-meter, 20-tonne monument of the Soyuz carrier rocket, built to commemorate Yury Gagarin’s space flight.
Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the global football championship after the country 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 a challenging bid from England, a joint bid from Portugal and Spain and another 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 2018 World Cup matches will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities throughout Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.