The Russian city of Krasnodar will get a World Cup-standard stadium despite missing out on the right to host the tournament, regional governor Alexander Tkachev said Wednesday.
Krasnodar, near the Black Sea in Russia’s south, was a surprise omission when the 11 World Cup host cities were announced last month, prompting outrage from local fans.
“We will build a super stadium. The decision has been taken,” Tkachev, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, said in comments posted on Kuban’s Twitter account, adding that it would cost “vast amounts of money, but we love football more."
Kuban’s financial backer Oleg Mkrtchyan was quoted as saying on the same account that: “We’ll build a beautiful stadium of 40,000 to 50,000 seats.”
An arena of that capacity would fit FIFA’s standards for a World Cup venue.
A new stadium would suit Kuban’s ambitions to join Europe’s elite, he added.
“Kuban should play in the European cups in a modern arena.”
The stadium could be built within 30 months, the club said on Twitter, adding that Mkrtchyan had proposed calling it the “Kuban Arena.”
Kuban and local rivals FC Krasnodar both play their home games in the 35,200-capacity Kuban stadium, a Soviet-era structure dating from 1961.
Kuban is one of Russia’s best supported clubs, and the city of Krasnodar is the only place outside Moscow to boast two teams in the top flight.