Putin’s football vision is clear – every team needs a stadium
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who was re-elected to another six-year term as president of the Russian federation in March this year, highlighted that commercial aspects are important when it comes to utilizing stadiums, but that they should remain venues what they were intended for – football. According to online sportsbook news, many new stadiums were built for the 2018 World Cup, while some were remodelled to meet the requirements of tournament.
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“You mention exhibitions, concerts, tourism and a commercial space. That’s alright, the stadium needs to be full,” said the Russian president. “But ideally we need to strive for every stadium to have a team and every team to have a stadium. Otherwise it will not be a stadium. It will be a concert hall.”
A total of 12 World Cup stadiums were used during the tournament in 11 cities across Russia, with all of them being located in the Western part of the country (the European side) to make logistical matters easier for national teams competing an
d supporters alike. The venue that is located the furthest to the East is the Ekaterinburg Arena (Central Stadium) in Yekaterinburg – a city that’s 1,400 km East of Moscow and was once considered as a potential alternative capital by the former president Boris Yeltsin (since it was his hometown).
The Russian football team enjoyed a great run as the hosts of the tournament
Under manager Stanislav Cherchesov, Russia has usurped some big nations at the tournament and managed to reach further in the tournament than anyone could have predicted. Even online sportsbooks in Russia didn’t give their own nation preferential odds to make beyond the last 16 round, but they did just that.
The Russians finished second in Group A with 6 points, after beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match of the tournament and then Egypt 3-1 in their second game. In the last 16 they faced 2010 World Cup winners Spain, but they managed to scrape by on penalties which saw them qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history. This was already a huge achievement for them, but they succumbed to defeat on penalties against Croatian – a country that finished as runners-up in the World Cup, and it’s roughly 35 times smaller than Russia in terms of population.
It’s interesting to note that the championship was the most expensive to have ever been staged; it is believed that it has cost the Russian government somewhere in the region of $14-15 billion. Many media outlets and football experts have called this one of the most entertaining World Cups in history, mainly thanks to huge sporting surprises and upsets by smaller teams, while the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) also brought another dose of thrills to the supporters around the globe.