SARANSK, April 14. /TASS/. All preparation as well as construction works across the Russian venues selected to host the matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup must be completed by the end of the year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.
Mutko, who is also the head of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), visited on Friday the city of Saransk, which is located in the country’s Republic of Mordovia and is one of 11 cities across Russia currently reading for hosting the games of the world’s most prestigious football tournament.
"We are all well aware of the difficulties and problems in our economy," Mutko said. "We did an outstanding job having accomplished a great deal in terms of our preparations for the World Cup, however there is still much work to be done ahead of us."
"The World Cup is an extremely complicated project. We must do our utmost to complete the main stage of the preparation works by the end of the year," he stated.
"We still have the facilities, which raise concerns and we need to turn our attention in this direction," Mutko stated. "I am sure that we will be capable of taking care of the financial aspect, but the aspect of the operational services must be attended to," he said. "Problems emerge each time when we encounter construction postponements and financing delays."
"Everything must be done to comply with the main construction schedules," Mutko added.
The construction of the over 44,000-seat capacity Mordovia Arena in Saransk was launched in 2010, the year which marked the 1,000-year anniversary of Mordovians uniting with other ethnic groups across the country.
According to information provided by the official LOC-2018 website, the stadium in Saransk was designed in the shape of an oval and its bright range of colors, which combine orange, red and white, should honor the distinctive color palette of Mordovia's arts and crafts.
The capacity of the stadium, which is located on a bank of the Insar River flowing through the downtown of Saransk, is planned to be reduced to 25,000 after the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the aim of adjusting the facility for holding other sports events in the future as well as to become a home arena for Mordovia FC.