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Unpaid bills leave Samara Arena in darkness

By Mirror | Published Wed, August 29th 2018 at 13:42, Updated August 29th 2018 at 13:55 GMT +3
The Samara Arena in Russia [Courtesy]

Electricity has been cut on Tuesday at a Russian stadium built for this year's soccer World Cup over unpaid bills - despite a warning from President Vladimir Putin.

The stadium in Samara - where England played Sweden in the quarter-finals - is said to have run up debts of 9,216,000 roubles ($137,600).

Power supplier Samaraenergo said the supply was cut early on Tuesday because PSO Kazan, the company that built the 42,000-seat stadium, had not paid its electricity bills this year

"We waited for a long time, we delayed the power cut," said Olga Perkova, a spokeswoman for Samaraenergo.

"Because PSO Kazan did not resolve the issue of paying its debt, a decision was made to cut electricity."

This is despite Putin warning he didn't want venues to fall into disuse.

Russia president Vladimir Putin [Courtesy]

But after an internal meeting on Tuesday, Samaraenergo decided to turn the power back on because of upcoming Russian Premier League matches at the Samara Arena, even though it remains unclear when PSO Kazan will clear its debt, Perkova said.

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PSO Kazan did not reply to a request for comment.

Krylia Sovetov Samara, a Russian Premier League club, will face Anzhi Makhachkala at the stadium on Saturday.

Krylia Sovetov did not reply to a request for comment, but wrote on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that power had been turned back on.

The Russian Premier League referred questions on the use of World Cup stadiums to Sport-In, a state-run company that manages the venues built for the tournament.

When contacted on Tuesday, Sport-In said preparations for Saturday's match were underway as usual.

Authorities had scrambled in the run-up to the World Cup to finish work at the venue, following a series of construction delays.

The stadium hosted six tournament matches, including England's 2-0 quarter-final win against Sweden.

Russia hosted the World Cup in June and July in 12 stadiums spread across 11 cities, and the authorities have pledged that the newly-built venues will be put to good use.

Putin last month urged the government to ensure the infrastructure did not fall into disuse.

But Russia has run into problems at some of its new stadiums. A day after last month's final, heavy rain damaged the newly-built stadium in the southern city of Volgograd.


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