Vladimir Putin has said that stadia used to stage the recent Fifa World Cup should continue as football venues in the future, while the Russian President has also revealed that the country is considering a bid for a future edition of the summer Olympic Games.
Eleven cities and 12 stadia were used to host the World Cup, which ran from June 14 to July 15. Legacy plans are now being made for the host venues and Putin has said that the Russian government will provide financial support for local operating bodies.
Putin also insisted that the stadia should be primarily used for football. Speaking to Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov about the region’s plans for its World Cup stadium, Putin said, according to the Reuters news agency: “You mention exhibitions, concerts, tourism and a commercial space. That’s alright, the stadium needs to be full.
“But ideally we need to strive for every stadium to have a team and every team to have a stadium. Otherwise it will not be a stadium. It will be a concert hall.”
Of the 12 stadia used during the World Cup, six are home to Russian Premier League teams. Kaliningrad’s 35,000-seat stadium, which was specially built for the World Cup, is the home of a second-tier club.
Putin said that a plan for each stadium needs to be drawn up, stating that proposals must be “concrete and not only general wishes”.
Meanwhile, Putin has revealed that Russia could bid for a future summer Olympics. According to Russian news agency Tass, Putin said a bid is “possible” but added that an application process would need to be finalised.
Russia has not staged the summer Olympics since Moscow played host in 1980. It last staged the winter Games in 2014, when Sochi was the host.