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KALININGRAD, August 1. /TASS/. A quality of the pitch turf at the currently under construction football arena in Kaliningrad, one of 11 Russian cities selected to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, may be above FIFA standards, Araz Alagarov, the president of the stadium’s contractor Crocus Group, said on Tuesday.
"FIFA has very strict requirements regarding the pitch turf," Alagarov said. "We are implementing here everything in regard to the drainage, heating and watering. Each operation is closely monitored."
"I believe that our field will be in line with all required standards or maybe will be above them," he said. "All fields must be in an ideal condition before the World Cup. We will start rolling out the pitch turf in the next couple of days."
Located in Russia’s westernmost enclave the city of Kaliningrad is building a completely new stadium for the 2018 World Cup on October Island. The stadium’s construction is expected to meet FIFA 2017 deadline and the new facility may be one of the cheapest built for the global championship after FIFA allowed to reduce the seating capacity to 35,000.
Russia’s old city of Kaliningrad already has one stadium. The 14,660-seat Baltika Stadium was constructed in late 19th century on money donated by philanthropist Walter Simon. At that time the stadium was located within Germany’s Konigsberg, which became Russia’s Kaliningrad after the World War II.
After hosting the Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The country was granted the right for the global quadrennial football championship after winning the bid in Guatemala in December 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.