Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, has revealed plans to demolish the Luzhniki Stadium and rebuild before the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been scrapped in favour of renovating the current venue.

The Luzhniki is due to stage the 2018 World Cup final and Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko had raised the prospect of it being demolished next year with a new stadium being erected on the same site.

But Sobyanin has ruled out that option and instead promised that extensive renovations will begin after the venue has hosted the International Associaton of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships next August.

He said: "Luzhniki is a sacred place. The stadium will remain in its current location.

"Of course, it requires serious reconstruction, but we won't be changing site."

Moscow officials are now expected to begin investigating a scheme that would see the facade of the stadium remaining while it is completely modernised inside.

The 80,000-capacity arena, built in 1956 and refurbished for the 1980 Summer Olympics, is scheduled to host the opening match and one of the World Cup semi-finals, as well as the final.


Posted on 26/12/2012