Representatives of FIFA, the organizing committee of Russia-2018, FC Zenit and the St. Petersburg administration at yesterday’s meeting decided that the match of the 29th round of the Russian football championship of the 2016/17 season between FC Zenit and FC Krasnodar “Will take place at the Petrovsky stadium, the press service of the Russia-2018 organizing committee reported. This measure will allow the organizers to fully prepare the field of the stadium “St. Petersburg” for the matches of the Confederations Cup and save the young lawn from the additional load, reports “Russia-2018”. A similar statement was made by the press service of FC Zenit.
After discussing the results of the test matches at the stadium “St. Petersburg”, the parties came to the conclusion that the level of functional readiness of the stadium meets the requirements for holding matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the report said.
Earlier, the stadium has already hosted four mass cultural events, including two Zenit home matches, reminds Russia-2018 (see cut). After the match with Terek on May 7, Zenit head coach Mircea Lucescu said: “Today we played on an ugly field. On a field where it is easier to defend than to create. You have to handle the ball with three or four touches in order to put it on the ground and create something there <...> in this field it is very difficult to create. By and large, we have created moments today even in such a field. Unfortunately, we failed to realize them ”(Lucescu’s words are quoted by the official website of“ Zenith ”). Then the vice-governor of St. Petersburg Igor Albin said that the lawn at the stadium “is very good and is improving day by day.” Yesterday he declined to comment, referring all questions to FIFA and Zenit.
Two matches were enough
On April 22, Zenit played in a new arena with Ural (2: 0), on May 7, Zenit lost there to Terek Grozny (0: 1)
Such a transfer is completely atypical, in fact, it is an emergency, because modern technologies allow you to grow a high-quality lawn even in winter conditions, and even more so in spring, says Dmitry Navosha, CEO of Sports.ru. According to him, during the match with Terek, it was clear to the naked eye that the pitch deserves a “three-minus” rating. He doubts that the problems with the lawn can be solved in the month that remains before the first matches of the Confederations Cup.
The seeds on the sown lawn sprout within two weeks after planting, after a month and a half the grass grows to 15–20 cm – at this time it should be cut, after another two to three weeks a second mowing is carried out, at this time the grass only takes on the appearance of a lawn, full Lawn loads are possible only 20-22 months after planting, says Yuri Kazantsev, general director of the Udachny Lawn company, which specializes in landscape design. You can walk on the grass only three months after it was sown, until that moment it is trampled down, he specifies.
For the first time, Zenit CEO Maxim Mitrofanov announced serious problems with the field in early April in an interview with Fontanka. The football field, which was created by the contractors, “died”, the new one is now being grown by Zenit specialists and is not growing in the best way, since the engineering systems of the field are not fully operational and have not been commissioned, Mitrofanov said at the time. According to him, the club spent about 1 billion rubles. of its funds for fine-tuning the stadium at the request of the city and FIFA, and in the next two years the club will spend about 5.5 billion rubles on the new stadium.
The St. Petersburg stadium, construction of which began in 2007 and cost, according to the latest estimates, about 43 billion rubles, was officially put into operation at the end of December 2016. The stadium is designed for 68,000 spectators, the total area is about 280,000 sq. m.
It should host four Confederations Cup matches in June – July 2017 and seven matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.