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Construction of Moscow soccer stadiums hit by financial crisis

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MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - The global financial crisis could cause long delays in the construction of two new soccer stadiums in the Russian capital, the Sovetski-Sport newspaper said on Wednesday.

The sports daily reported that work on Spartak Moscow's new 42,000-capacity stadium in northwest Moscow would be put off for an undetermined period.

"Right now, even the date for the start of construction work is not clear," the director of the stadium, Andrei Kozirev, said. "First of all a tender has to be held among contractors. Finding a contractor is not the main thing, though. For the start of construction, serious amounts of money are needed, and there is a catastrophic lack of that right now."

Spartak Moscow, who have won a record 9 titles since the break up of the Soviet Union, are without a stadium of their own, and currently rent the city's Luzhniki stadium. The club's owner, Leonid Fedun, earlier said that the stadium would be completed in 2009. However, Kozirev said work could now begin in May-June next year, and would last between "28 and 30 months."

Construction of a 30,000-capacity stadium in the north of the capital for 2005 UEFA Cup winners CSKA Moscow is also facing possible problems. While the club has already found a contractor and begun foundation work, Sovetski-Sport reported that the club is considering the suspension of construction due to the current financial situation. It also said that costs had spiraled from an initial $250 million to around $600 million.

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