FIFA experts satisfied with Yekaterinburg Arena’s readiness
Moscow, March 21: Experts from football’s governing body, FIFA, are satisfied with the readiness of the football arena in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg for hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a FIFA official said on Tuesday.
FIFA Director of Competitions Colin Smith, who is currently in Yekaterinburg on an inspection visit with a delegation of FIFA experts, told journalists that the stadium was ready for the World Cup.
Smith also said that trial matches must be held at the newly reconstructed facility to test the operational capacity of the football arena, reports Tass news agency.
Smith said that besides the football stadium, which would be hosting the matches of the championship, the FIFA delegation paid particular attention to the readiness of other facilities, including the transport infrastructure, accommodation and airport, to make sure that everything was in line with international standards.
The opening match at the refurbished Yekaterinburg Arena will be played on April 1 between home football club Urals and Rubin FC from Kazan as part of the 24th round of the RFPL 2017/2018 season.
Reconstruction work at Yekaterinburg’s Central Stadium, which was initially opened in 1957, was 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 World Cup, was commissioned on December 29, 2017.
Following the reconstruction at the stadium, which is home to one of the country’s oldest football clubs, Urals FC, the facility boasts an over 35,000-seat capacity while its historical facade remained untouched.
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