FIFA World Cup 2018 : The spectacular stadiums that will welcome fans in Russia

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Ekaterinburg Arena

 

City: Ekaterinburg

Capacity: 35,000

One of the World Cup’s most distinctive venues, Ekaterinburg Arena is the World Cup’s easternmost stadium. It stands in Ekaterinburg, a city of around 1.4 million to the east of the Ural Mountains. Originally opened in 1957 as the Central Stadium, it has been extensively refurbished for the World Cup, including the novel addition of temporary stands which extend outside the stadium to ensure added capacity. The classical-style façade largely remains, including its impressive ornate statues.

The stadium officially reopened on April 15, when host team FC Ural beat Spartak Moscow 2-1. It will see four group-stage games at the World Cup. After the tournament, the temporary stands will be removed to reduce the capacity.    

Games: Egypt v Uruguay, June 15;France v Peru, June 21; Japan v Senegal, June 24; Mexico v Sweden, June 27.

Fisht Stadium

City: Sochi

Capacity: 48,000

World Cup venue Sochi lies on the Black Sea coast and will be a popular destination for football fans keen to soak up some sunshine this summer. The city’s Fisht Stadium was originally built for the 2014 Winter Olympics and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies. Since then it has been converted into a football stadium and hosted games at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

It is located in the city’s Olympic Park, and although its permanent post-World Cup tenants have not been confirmed, there is talk that second-tier club Dynamo St. Petersburg could up sticks and move to the city.

The stadium is named after a mountain in the region, and the design is in the theme of snow-capped peaks. It will host six games in all this summer, including the blockbuster game between Iberian rivals Portugal and Spain, as well as a quarter-final.  

Games: Portugal v Spain, June 15; Belgium v Panama, June 18; Germany v Sweden, June 23; Australia v Peru, June 26; Round of 16, June 30; Quarter-final, July 7.

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