WORLD CUP 2018

Russia World Cup stadium left in dark over unpaid bills

Russia World Cup stadium left in dark over unpaid bills

Maxim Shemetov

REUTERS

PSO Kazan, the company that built the Samara Arena, had racked up more than 9 million rubles (US$136,000) in debt to the power supplier.

Electricity was briefly cut this Tuesday at the Samara Arena, one of the stadiums built for this year’s World Cup in Russia, over unpaid bills.

Samaraenergo, a power supplier in the city of Samara, told Reuters that the power supply was cut because PSO Kazan, the company that built the 42,000-seat stadium, had not paid electricity bills this year and had racked up 9,216,000 rubles (US$136,000) in debt.

"We waited for a long time, we delayed the power cut," said Olga Perkova, a spokeswoman for power supplier. Because PSO Kazan did not resolve the issue of paying its debt, a decision was made to cut electricity."

Plug reconnected

After an internal meeting on Tuesday, Samararaenergo decided to turn the power back on because of the upcoming Russian Premier League (RPL) matches. It remains unclear when PSO Kazan will clear the debt, Perkova said.

The Samara Arena – site of England’s 2-0 quarterfinal win over Sweden - opened in April and has since become the home of RPL club Krylia Sovetov Samara.

An RPL game against Anzhi Majachkala is scheduled for Saturday.

Neither PSO Kazan nor Krylia Sovetov replied requests for comment.

World Cup infrastructure to be put to good use

Russian authorities pledged that venues built for the 2018 World Cup would be put to good use, and President Vladimir Putin last month urged the government to ensure infrastructure would not fall into disuse.

Last month, heavy rain damaged the Volgograd Arena, one of the newly-built World Cup stadiums, a day after the tournament’s final match between France and Croatia.

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