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St. Petersburg Arena to be ideal for 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup — deputy PM

April 19, 2017, 20:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. The newly-built football stadium in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg will be in an ‘ideal condition’ awaiting matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which is due to kick off in Russia in less than two months, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Wednesday.

"All works have been completed and currently the grass-layer of the pitch is being finished," Mutko, who is also the head of Russia-2018 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said. "The pitch will be undoubtedly ideal before the Confederations Cup."

"No more financial allocations are necessary anymore," he said. "Additional financial means were recently channeled into the formation of security infrastructure."

The first official match at the new stadium in Russia’s second largest city is scheduled to be held on April 22 as part of the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) tournament’s 24th round between home team Zenit St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg Ural FC.

The over 68,000-seat capacity stadium designed to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches 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.

The FIFA Confederations Cup, which is also viewed by experts as a rehearsal a year prior to the FIFA World Cup, will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and Kazan Arena in Kazan.

Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.

The Draw for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on November 26, 2016 in the Russian city of Kazan. Following the event, hosts Russia was placed in Group A alongside with Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B has brought together Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon.

The opening game will be held in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand. Russia will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21 and on June 24 it will play Mexico in Kazan.

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