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FIFA experts praise readiness of Saransk football stadium for 2018 World Cup

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15

SARANSK, March 22. /TASS/. Experts from the world’s governing football body, FIFA, are satisfied with the readiness of the football stadium in the Russian city of Saransk, which is the capital of the republic of Mordovia and is one of 11 cities to host matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a FIFA official said on Tuesday.

FIFA Director of Competitions Colin Smith, who is currently in Saransk on an inspection visit with a delegation of FIFA experts, told journalists that the stadium and the city were ready for the world championship and the group of FIFA experts were satisfied with the preparations.

The head of the government of Mordovia, Vladimir Sushkov, told journalists that the new stadium would be commissioned by March 31.

"The Mordovia Arena is in the final stage of completion," Sushkov said. "We plan to commission the facility before March 31 this year."

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 will host a total of four group stage matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, namely Peru-Denmark on June 16, Colombia-Japan on June 19, Iran-Portugal on June 25 and Panama-Tunisia on June 28.

Russia 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.