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FIFA official says satisfied with Yekaterinburg’s preparations for 2018 World Cup

September 27, 2017, 18:56 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

Yekaterinburg is the fourth most populated city in Russia

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YEKATERINBURG, September 27. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body FIFA sees no risks in reconstruction works at a football arena in Russia’s Yekaterinburg, one of 11 cities across the country selected to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA’s Director of Competitions Colin Smith said on Wednesday.

The FIFA official told journalists in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday that a delegation from the global football body inspected the sports facility in the Russian Urals city and was satisfied with the course of the current reconstruction works, noting no risks whatsoever.

According to Smith, the stadium is now in the final-tuning stage and it is important to put in order all details regarding accommodation and interaction of all services within the facility as soon as possible.

Smith also said that FIFA kept closely monitoring the developments at the stadium, put up a detailed plan regarding security issues and hoped that the organization of the World Cup matches in Russia would be a success just like it was during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup games.

Reconstruction works at Yekaterinburg’s Central Stadium, which was initially opened in 1957, were launched in September 2015, to prepare the arena for hosting matches of the global quadrennial football event in 2018.

The stadium, which will host a total of four matches of the 2018 World Cup, was originally scheduled to be commissioned on December 31, 2017.

Following the reconstruction efforts at the stadium, which is home to one of the country’s oldest football clubs, Urals FC, the facility will be boasting an over 35,600-seat capacity while its historical facade would remain untouched.

Founded in 1723 by decree of Russian Emperor Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the fourth most populated city in Russia. It is also one of 12 Russian cities with a population of over a million.

Yekaterinburg gained popularity in the 18th century as Russia’s iron-making center and is now a modern city with world-class infrastructure, which includes an efficient road and metro network, as well as a modern airport.

After hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Russia was granted the right for the football championship after clinching the bid in Guatemala in December 2010. The victory came following a tight race against a 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 matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 above-mentioned cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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