FIFA’s competitions director says the organization’s inspection commission is satisfied with the current state of St. Petersburg’s Zenit Arena. The venue will host 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 World Cup games in the northern capital of Russia.
A five-day FIFA delegation’s visit that will continue until March 3, and include all four cities that will host the Confederations Cup games has started in St. Petersburg on Monday.
“It’s a great pleasure for me that I don’t have to wear the safety hat here anymore,” Colin Smith told the press, talking at the arena, TASS reported.
“Now we can talk about the football, about the field, rather than discussing the construction process.
“Overall we are satisfied with the job that has been done here. Although, there are some things that still need to be complete. The city assured us that everything will be ready by June,” he added.
Smith has also added that this is the last FIFA’s visit to the city before the start of the Confederations Cup.
“This visit is very important to us,” said St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Igor Albin.
“We have hosted the testing events on the arena – a bike show and a concert. We’ve tested the logistics and the safety. The results were very good.”
During the previous international football governing body visit in October 2016 the inspection was critical over arena’s retractable pitch, which causes vibration levels higher than allowed by FIFA standards.
This time Smith says the issue still remains, but will be resolved shortly.
“The solution has been found. There is a two-week work plan, and following this period the vibration issues will be fixed. We are positive about it.”
The 2017 Confederations Cup will run from June 17 to July 2, 2017 in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.
The World Cup is scheduled to take place from June 15 to June 14, 2018, in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Volgograd, Saransk, Nizhny Novgorod and Rostov-on-Don.