FIFA World Cup delegates visit Samara

June 22nd, 2012 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Samara (Russia), June 22 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The FIFA delegation charged with assessing Russia’s 13 World Cup candidate cities visited here Friday.

The seven delegates visited the site on the banks of the Volga river where a new stadium will be built if Samara is picked as one of the host cities, and an area that would serve as the city’s fan zone during the 2018 World Cup.

Russia’s winning bid for the tournament envisaged building a new stadium in Samara with a swooping asymmetric design and a capacity of almost 45,000 that the city’s Russian Premier League team, Krylya Sovetov, will take over after the World Cup.

Regional governor Nikolai Merkushin was confident of the city’s chances.

“I think that Samara will host matches at the World Cup,” he said, adding that improving the city’s transport links to connect the airport and railroad station to the city centre would be the biggest challenge.

The FIFA delegation has already visited the cities of Krasnodar, Rostov, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.

Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk and Volgograd are the next destinations for the delegation.

The delegates will file a report of their findings to FIFA’s executive committee, which will cut at least two cities from the roster.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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