44 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Russians promise delivery of centrepiece St Petersburg stadium by year end

September 12 – The seemingly never-ending saga surrounding of the build of the Krestovsky football stadium, also known as the Zenit Arena, in St Petersburg, may at last be coming to a conclusion with Russia having given guarantees to FIFA that the stadium will be completed by the end of this year.

The project, started eight years ago, has been stalled since July because of a dispute between the project manager and the local authorities.

This resulted in the appointment of a new project manager – Metrostroi – who are saying the stadium will be delivered December 26.

The 68,000 capacity stadium build got under way in 2007 on a budget initially estimated at 6.9 billion rubles, but which has subsequently ballooned to an estimated 39.2 billion rubles (€539 million), six times more than its original budget.

The stadium will be a centrepiece of the 2017 Confederations Cup, hosting Russia’s opening match on June 17, one other group game, and then the final on July 2.

For the World Cup 2018, the stadium will host four group games – including one Russian game – a Round of 16 match, a semi-final and the third placed play-off.

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