Local organisers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup have rejected claims that they copied the design of Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium when developing Saransk’s venue for this summer’s edition of the national team football tournament.

The 44,000-capacity Mordovia Arena (pictured below) will host four group stage games during the 2018 World Cup and its design has a striking resemblance to FNB Stadium (pictured above).

The venue otherwise known as Soccer City underwent a major upgrade to serve as the centrepiece of South Africa’s staging of the 2010 World Cup. However, the 2018 World Cup Directorate in Saransk said the similarity between the two stadia is “no more than an accidental coincidence”.

The Directorate added to the Business Insider South Africa website: “But we certainly like the resemblance to the (FNB) stadium, which hosted the opening matches and the finals of the FIFA World Cup in 2010.”

Work on Mordovia Arena commenced in 2010 and the stadium was officially opened last month. The World Cup Directorate said development of the design of Mordovia Arena lasted more than a year and featured several changes.

“The final version of visualisation is connected to a greater degree with the symbols of the Republic of Mordovia, which in our country is called ‘solar’,” the directorate said. “In addition, the sun to Mordovian people embodies the source of life, joy (and) a (new) beginning.”

Main image: Prosthetic Head 

Body image: Эрзянин