Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has called on the authorities involved in the construction of the Zenit Arena to reach a compromise as work on one of the venues for football’s Fifa World Cup 2018 continues to stall.
The 69,000-seat stadium in Saint Petersburg has been hit by a host of issues including delays, budget reevaluations and changes in design. Local authorities disrupting the construction schedule have caused the latest delay according to a statement by the development’s general contractor, which was published by Russian news agency TASS. The contractor said workers may go on strike if the situation is not resolved.
The statement has led to Mutko issuing a warning to those involved in the construction. He told the R-Sport news agency: “Why can’t they agree? If they are unable to agree, this situation will have to be resolved the hard way.”
Fifa, football’s global governing body, visited the site in May, and “expressed its concern” over construction work. Local authorities insisted that, as intended, the stadium would be finished by the end of the year.
Zenit Arena is due to host a semi-final at the World Cup in two years’ time, and is also one of four stadia named as a host venue for the 2017 Confederations Cup.