MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. The Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital of Moscow is "magnificent" and is a good venue for the opening and the final matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA chief Competitions & Events Officer Colin Smith said on Thursday
"I am sure that you are impressed as I am with the Luzhniki Stadium, which you will see in operation as early as in November," Smith told journalists summing results of the 10-day operational visit of a joint delegation from FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2018.
Between September 26 and October 5 the delegation, headed by LOC General Director Alexey Sorokin and FIFA chief Competitions & Events Officer Colin Smith, visited eight Russian cities, namely Yekaterinburg, Samara, Saransk, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Kaliningrad and Moscow (Luzhniki Stadium).
The joint group included experts in the design of stadiums, preparation and conduct of competitions, security, transport, logistics, hospitality services, television broadcasting, media support, personnel work, marketing and ticket programs.
"One can see in general that the Luzhniki (stadium) is magnificent and is really the stadium befitting for opening and the final of the FIFA World Cup," Smith stated.
However, the FIFA official said that there was still some work to be done before the opening of the next year’s World Cup, namely at the Luzhniki Stadium’s surrounding areas.
"The focus here is how to adapt the surrounding areas to the operational facilities that we need," Smith said. "That will be conducted over the first quarter of the next year."
Early last month Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino inspected the refurbished Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital watching training sessions of youth football teams.