FIFA have received “guarantees” from Russia that the stadium which will host the 2018 World Cup semi-final will be ready by the end of this year, world football’s governing body said Saturday.

Construction of the new 68,000-seater stadium in Saint Petersburg — one of the most expensive in the world — had been stalled since mid-July because of a dispute between the former project manager and local authorities.

But work restarted after the nomination of a new contractor — Russian business Metrostroi — who say it will be delivered on schedule on December 26.

“We have received new guarantees from the government, who have assured us that the stadium will be ready before the end of the year,” said FIFA director of competitions Colin Smith. 

“We’re satisfied with the progress of work on the stadium.”

The project got under way in 2007 on a budget initially estimated at 6.9 billion rubles, but should finally cost 39.2 billion rubles (539 million euros), making it one of the most expensive stadiums ever. – Agence France-Presse

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