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World Cup 2018 stadium relocated

Moscow - The football World Cup 2018 stadium in the Russian city of Samara is to be built on a different site to the one visited by FIFA officials before the world governing body approved the city to host the tournament, the local government said Friday.

Samara is one of 11 host cities after three others were dropped in September.

A $29 million tender to design the stadium posted on a state contracting website states that the 45,000-seater stadium will be near the airport rather than on the island the FIFA delegation visited.

The price has increased to around $430 million, which is $100 million more than regional deputy governor Alexander Nefedov said last month, and more than double the figure of $180 million widely mentioned in Russian media in late 2010, after the country was awarded the tournament.

The original site had been criticised for being far from city transport links and hotel accommodation, ruining a river view and requiring port traffic to be rerouted.

A tender to design the arena there was cancelled by regional governor Nikolai Merkushin in July, after the visit, when he said the cost estimates were not transparent.

The new site is near a major highway and the city airport.

Most of the host cities are far ahead of Samara in their preparations, with construction work well under way on new stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while building has even started in the little known city of Saransk.

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