One of Russia’s under-construction World Cup stadiums in Samara set ablaze yesterday (Thursday), a regional government official said.

Reuters reported that a spokeswoman had claimed that some construction debris had set alight during the morning, although she could not confirm what the cause of the fire was.

“There was construction debris, wooden planks, old plastic pipes that needed to be thrown out, but they weren’t,” spokeswoman Anna Sitnik said, according to the EuroSport website. “There was more smoke than fire.”

The stadium, 850km south of capital city Moscow, is set to host six World Cup matches, including a quarter-final, at the 2018 tournament.

The fire is the second major incident to hit future World Cup venues in Russia in the past seven weeks. A fire broke out at the stadium in Volgograd in June, reportedly due to neglected safety regulations.

Sitnik also noted that the stadium did not sustain any serious damage and no workers were injured.

 Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup from June 14 to July 15 across 12 venues in 11 cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.

In June, Building and Woodworkers International (BWI), the global trade union for construction workers, hit out at Fifa for not taking further action to ensure better working conditions at World Cup stadiums in Russia.

According to ESPN FC, the organisation accused football’s global governing body of being “unwilling to take on the stadium construction companies and tell them what to do,” due to the “political climate and sensibilities” in the country.

Image: Oleg Maximov