Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Russian sports minister expresses displeasure with slow design progress for FIFA stadiums

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko recently express disappointment with the slow progress in designing the stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

As of Jan. 31, all but one of the 12 stadiums needed to host the World Cup are being built from scratch as part of a $20 billion infrastructure project. Seven of those stadiums are still in the design phase, RIA Novosti reports.

Funds for the stadiums are being furnished by the national government, local governments and from contributions from the private sector.

"The pace of designing the stadiums gives cause for alarm," Mutko said during a meeting of regional governments, according to RIA Novosti. "Deadlines are being broken. There are problems in every region."

In response to the slow progress, Mutko has approved a $100 million subsidy for each of the 11 regions building a stadium for the World Cup to expedite the design process.

"Whoever is unable to do this, let's replace them at this early stage and everything will fall into place," Mutko said, RIA Novosti reports. "Our task is that the [stadium] concepts conform to FIFA standards."

Presently, the three stadiums closest to completion are the Kazan Arena, the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi and the Otkritie Arena in Moscow. Mutko has said construction for all arenas must begin by the end of the year.