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Moscow clubs run out of stadiums

AFP
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Unfavourable weather conditions during reconstruction of stadiums for the 2018 World Cup is the prime reason

Can’t get worseA view of the Dynamo stadium during reconstruction works.photo: AFP
Can’t get worseA view of the Dynamo stadium during reconstruction works.photo: AFP

Moscow clubs are facing serious problems staging matches as none of the city’s main stadiums is currently in a fit state for top-class football.

Spartak Moscow general manager Roman Askhabadze was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying: “Such a force majeure situation when none of the venues in Moscow and the closest region are fit to host the matches of the Premiership has happened for the first time in Russia’s history.”

He explained that the pitch at the Lokomotiv stadium, where Spartak are playing their home games this season, was pronounced unfit for Premiership football and the club failed to find a suitable alternative for the weekend’s match with Terek Grozny.

The Russian Premier League ordered Spartak to play the match at Yekaterinburg, 1,700 kilometres away from Moscow.

The reconstruction of the Luzhniki and Dynamo stadiums for the 2018 World Cup and the unfavourable weather conditions in the Russian capital in September are the reasons for the problem.

The enormous amount of rain which has fallen on Moscow in recent weeks has turned the pitch at the Khimki stadium, the home of CSKA and Dynamo, into a quagmire, while the turf of Lokomotiv stadium have also suffered after hosting several matches under heavy rain.

CSKA were forced to play Wednesday’s Champions League match with Czech title holders Viktoria Plzen at Saint Petersburg’s Petrovsky stadium.

CSKA president Yevgeny Giner said he was confident that after the Dynamo match they would be able play the remaining matches before the winter break at Khimki.AFP

Glossary

force majeure – derived from French, this is a common clause in contracts. It could either refer to a “superior or overpowering force” or “an unexpected or uncontrollable event.”

quagmire – an area of boggy ground whose surface yields under the tread.

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