One of the stadia used to stage matches during the recent FIFA World Cup in Russia has had its electricity temporarily cut amid a dispute over unpaid bills.
The Samara Arena hosted six matches at this summer’s World Cup, including England’s 2-0 quarter-final win over Sweden on July 7.
Following the conclusion of the tournament last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of ensuring that venues used during the World Cup continue as football stadia in the long term and do not fall into disrepair.
However, just weeks after the tournament has ended, Samara Arena appears to be struggling after a power supplier in the city, Samaraenergo, told the Reuters news agency that electricity has been cut at the venue.
According to Samaraenergo, the firm that built the stadium, PSO Kazan, has not paid electricity bills this year, with debt amounting to $137,600. A spokeswoman for Samaraenergo told Reuters: “We waited for a long time, we delayed the power cut. Because PSO Kazan did not resolve the issue of paying its debt, a decision was made to cut electricity.”
Reuters reported that Samaraenergo moved to turn the power back on yesterday (Tuesday), with Russian Premier League matches scheduled to take place at the stadium in the coming weeks.
On Saturday, Krylia Sovetov Samara will host Anzhi Makhachkala at the stadium and the state-run Sport-In agency, which manages the World Cup venues built in Russia, said preparations for the fixture are “underway as usual”.
Samara Arena has a capacity of 44,000 and officially opened in April ahead of the World Cup, which ran from June 14 to July 15.