Russian authorities have terminated the contract of the firm building the Zenit Arena stadium in St Petersburg, set to host the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup.
The 68,000-seater stadium, also set to be one of the major venues for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, has been under construction since 2007.
The news agency TASS has reported that, since its inception, the project’s costs have escalated from US$ 106 million to more than US$ 620 million.
The sacked contractor, Inzhtransstroy-SPB released a statement, saying the responsibility for the delays and ballooning costs, lies with the local authorities.
It said, “Such inconsistent decisions of the St. Petersburg Construction Committee, as well as the ever-changing conditions, lack of an agreed project documentation, unresolved issues with the financing only mean that the stadium will not be ready to host the 2017 Confederations Cup.”
It also maintained it was folly to introduce a new contractor with the stadium currently 85% complete.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko will now be reporting regularly on progress to President Vladimir Putin. He said of the situation, “Poor quality work has been done on a string of engineering systems. This was all discovered when the contract was terminated. Now we need to build it with composure. We have to start being more positive.”