UEFA chief ‘delighted’ by Saint Petersburg arena for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Michel Platini visited the football stadium currently under construction at Krestovsky Island
Share 25 July 2015

Incumbent President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini said on Saturday he was delighted by the stadium Russia was building on the Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Platini’s statement was quoted by the Weclome-2018 web portal.

Platini, Russian Sports Minister and Chairman of the Russia-2018 Organizing Committee Vitaly Mutko and Organizing Committee General Director Alexei Sorokin visited the stadium on the Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

The UEFA chief who is the head of the FIFA organizing committee for the preparation of the 2018 World Cup inspected the entrance to the stadium, increased comfort boxes and visited the stadium’s highest point at the height of 42 overlooking the Gulf of Finland.

Platini said the arena's scope was amazing, adding this would be a very beautiful stadium.

The UEFA chief said he wanted to convey his congratulations to the workers building the stadium and all Petersburg residents who would receive this beautiful gift from the city. The UEFA chief said he was sure the stadium would adorn both the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the Euro-2020 event.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup over four years ago in a tight race against the joint bid from England, Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

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, Ekaterinburg 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.

Russia is now in its full-swing preparations for the Preliminary Draw, which is the first major kick-off event ahead of the global tournament itself.

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition will be held on July 25 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg with a total of 208 nations having signed up for the participation in the event.

It will be for the first time in the history of World Cups, when all national teams registered for the Preliminary Draw. Russia as the hosting nation automatically qualified for the championship and therefore is not taking part in the preliminary competition.

The first major kick-start event of the 2018 World Cup will be held at the historic Konstantinovsky Palace, a stronghold of Russia’s rich culture located on the Gulf of Finland’s stunning shoreline. It used to serve in the 18th century as one of the residences of Russia’s imperial family.