SARANSK, September 29. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body FIFA is satisfied with the dynamic tempo of construction and preparations works in Russia’s Saransk for the 2018 World Cup, according to a FIFA official.
The city of Saransk, the capital of the republic of Mordovia and one of 11 cities across the country selected to host matches of the global football tournament next year, is hosting on Friday a joint delegation of FIFA and Russia-2018 LOC (Local Organizing Committee). This is the sixth operational visit of the delegation to assess the readiness of stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Between September 26 and October 5 the delegation, which is headed by LOC General Director Alexey Sorokin and the FIFA Director of Competitions Colin Smith, was scheduled to visit eight Russian cities, namely Yekaterinburg, Samara, Saransk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Kaliningrad and Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium).
FIFA Director of Competitions Smith told journalists on Friday he was glad to be back again in the city of Saransk, which is very accurate and presentable and brings him positive emotions only.
The FIFA official said that an opportunity of hosting the matches of the international football championship in 2018 was a great chance for the city of Saransk to present itself to the whole world.
Speaking about the current state of preparatory works in the city, regarding the construction of the stadium, the accompanying facilities and the accommodating infrastructure, Smith said that although it was not much time left, all of the works were in the very active and dynamic stage and would be completed on time.
Smith also said that the delegation would be back to see the city’s readiness for the 2018 FIFA World Cup during test matches and the currently under construction Mordovia Arena.
Vladimir Sushkov, the head of the government of Russia’s republic of Mordovia, told journalists earlier in the day that the first test match at the Mordovia Arena had been tentively scheduled for April 21.
The construction of the 45,000-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 the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-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.
The Mordovia Arena, which was initially scheduled to be commissioned in December, will host a total of four group stage matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
After successfully hosting the FIFA 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.