Russian prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday the drawn-out construction of Zenit St. Petersburg’s new stadium “looks disgraceful” and said it would receive no more cash handouts from the government.
The stadium, set to be one of the arenas for the 2018 World Cup, was originally supposed to be completed in 2008 but remains unfinished, while costs have soared to a reported 29 billion rubles ($886 million).
“It’s not just a long build, it looks disgraceful,” he said, adding that the federal government would now only lend money to the project, rather than provide grants.
“It’s not right just to come to the Russian Federation budget and say ‘give me extra money’,” Medvedev said.
The stadium’s capacity will be 68,000, increased from the original figure of 62,000 to fit FIFA’s plans for the World Cup.
The completion date is set for 2014, Alexei Sorokin, the head of Russia’s World Cup organizing committee has said, although some reports have claimed the project may only be completed in 2017.
The stadium was designed to look like a spaceship by renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurosawa, who died in 2007.