Tuesday 25 April 2017, 17:10

Samoura: Russia-Portugal will be full house

The 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and FIFA held a board meeting today in the newly-built Saint Petersburg Stadium in the last executive gathering before the FIFA Confederations Cup kicks-off in exactly 53 days at the same venue. At the press conference following the meeting, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura announced that currently there are no more tickets available for the match in Moscow between Russia and Portugal, further increasing the urgency for fans visit FIFA.com and the venue ticketing centres to secure tickets for the other much anticipated matches of the Tournament of Champions.

FIFA.com delivers the main quotes from the media briefing.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura**** "We are 53 days from the kick-off. I fully share the enthusiasm of Vice Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko. I can see all the progress that has been made including this stadium in Saint Petersburg where we are now. We are working on technical details but I’m sure that the kick-off match will be a great experience for the fans in Russia and around the world.

We can already announce that the match No5 between Russia and Portugal in Moscow will be the full house – the tickets for this game are currently no longer available. It shows how popular the FCC is. We count on the media to spread the good news and I persuade people to rush to FIFA.com/tickets and also to the newly-opened ticketing centres that are operational since 19 April (except in Kazan) for the tickets."

Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ LOC Vitaly Mutko "Today our regular meeting of the LOC and FIFA has taken place. I thank Secretary General Fatma Samoura and all colleagues for the cooperation. We discussed almost all issues regarding the FCC preparation. We work together as a team, and we’ve got serious results.

Russia in general is ready for the FCC. Four stadiums are put into operation. The test events are being held. All 12 training grounds and accommodation for the teams are ready. The volunteer admission is over. The volunteer programme is breathtaking – 12 person for a place competition. Now the volunteers are being prepared for the upcoming events.

As you know we use a new element of the thorough security system – the so-called Fan ID. All centres where fans can get it are already operational. The state law implies that electronic version of the Fan ID is a pass for the entrance to Russia with no visa required.

All current issues will be solved until 2 June. From that day the LOC and FIFA will manage all infrastructure (stadiums, training grounds etc.) We’re enthusiastic and sure that the Confed Cup will take place at the highest level. It’s a unique tournament where only champions and the Host Country participate. We expect enormous interest in it."

FIFA Chief Competitions and Events Officer Colin Smith "We are focused now on the test matches. We’ve got two different types of stadiums. Two of them are new – in Sochi and Saint Petersburg; while the other two in Kazan and Moscow are long existing and fully operational facilities. In Saint Petersburg the first test of the stadium in the football mode was last Saturday when Zenit played its home match here. Generally it went well. There are key aspects that will be studied by both FIFA and the LOC. There have been talks about the pitch. It coped well as it’s a very young pitch. It will certainly be in even better condition for the next match. We are sure that it will be a top class pitch in June when the FCC takes place.

All the small issues as toilets, concessions, some issues with the roof etc. – these are issues that are expected at any new building. Nothing of big concern. It was a very important first step and we’ll be moving forward.

The FIFA team will come to Russia in early June and we’ll work hand-in-hand with the colleagues from LOC, the cities, the public authorities. We look forward to success of the FCC which is a key milestone in the overall planning of the World Cup. We’re confident that together we’ll deliver a great FCC with a great atmosphere for all the fans."

CEO of** the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ LOC Alexey Sorokin** "It’s really good that we’ve got an opportunity to test the stadiums. We talk about two new arenas in Saint Petersburg and Sochi, while Spartak Stadium and Kazan Arena have hosted Russian league games for a long time. We took part in the organisation of the friendly game between Russia and Belgium in Sochi and witnessed the recent game in Saint Petersburg.

Of course, it’s impossible for the very first match to be absolutely perfect. We understand this. Some systems still need to be properly tuned. But in general both stadiums have passed the tests. There are seven more test events in the near future. We welcome a wise approach of Zenit St. Petersburg to increase the capacity of the stadium gradually. 17 May is a very important date for us. That day all stadiums will pass the final test in the FCC mode. We’ll get to the Tournament of the Champions fully prepared."