Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, which is scheduled to host the opening match and the final of the 2018 Fifa World Cup, is ready to host 78,000 fans at an international friendly next month.

An official with the Russian Football Union (RFU) told Russian news agency Tass yesterday (Wednesday) that the reconstructed stadium is set to showcase the football game between Russia and Argentina on November 11.

When asked about the total amount of tickets to be put on sale for the friendly, Vladimir Karpovich, the RFU’s commercial director, said: “It will all depend on sales. The current seat capacity of the Luzhniki Stadium stands at 78,000.”

Russia is due to host the World Cup from June 14 to July 15 next year, after successfully hosting the Fifa Confederations Cup this summer.

Reconstruction on the Luzhniki Stadium began in 2013 and the venue’s capacity was expanded to 81,000 after refurbishment work had been completed.

Since Luznhiki Stadium is principally used for football, with more than 3,000 matches played over the years, the athletics track inside the arena was removed, with stands changed into a rectangle form and moved closer to the pitch.

Last week, Leonid Stavitsky, Russia’s first deputy minister of construction, housing and utilities, moved to allay any fears surrounding work on the country’s World Cup stadia, insisting that all venues will be ready for the tournament.

The country 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, Yekaterinburg and Samara.