Work on two stadia set to host games for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been hit with "serious issues", with work stopped on one and the contractor reported to have been fired.
Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (pictured) said work on the stadium in the city of Samara, in southeastern Russia, "has come to a halt", without giving a reason for the cessation, US magazine Newsweek reported, quoting Russian-language state news agency RIA Novosti.
Newsweek said other Russian press reports cited local officials at the site blaming contractors’ "money wrangling" for the halt.
Russian state news outlets have published a statement from the Russian World Cup organising committee announcing their intention to change the contractor on the Samara stadium.
Mutko said the Samara stadium work had two "very serious, very difficult" issues.
Mutko also told press that there was a problem with ground conditions at the stadium under construction in Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.
The Samara stadium is around three months behind schedule already, according to Mutko’s previous statement on its progress, Newsweek said.
The 2018 World Cup will take place from 14 June to 15 July at 12 arenas in 11 Russian cities.
Photograph: Russia’s Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko (Uefa.com)