Sergey Pryadkin, president of the Russian Premier League, has openly criticised the design of stadia that will be used during this summer’s FIFA World Cup in the country, citing the lack of roofs as one of his main concerns.
The 2018 World Cup will run from June 14 to July 15 at locations across Russia.
Work on new stadia and improvements to existing venues has been ongoing for a number of years, but only St. Petersburg’s Krestovsky Stadium has a retractable roof.
However, despite an estimated $4bn (€3.4bn/£3bn) having been spent on stadia work, Pryadkin has questioned why more venues do not have a roof, saying that stadia will be left open to the elements.
According to the AFP news agency, Pryadkin said: “When we were holding test matches in the new stadiums, I kept asking myself: why didn’t they put roofs on them?
“This is a question for those who were designing them.”
“When they were building the stadiums, no one asked for our advice.”
Although Pryadkin is seemingly disgruntled about the lack of roofs, he did have praise for the commitment to build the new stadia, saying this will help to boost attendance in the Russian Premier League.
Pryadkin said attendance was up 22.4 percent in the past season and with World Cup stadia to be handed to local teams after the tournament, attendance is likely to continue to grow.
He said: “It is good that we now have good arenas, even though they have no roofs.”
Image: Andrew Shiva