July 16, 2018 / 3:12 PM / 3 months ago

Heavy rain damages Russian World Cup stadium

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Heavy rain damaged one of Russia’s newly-built World Cup stadiums on Sunday when the tournament ended with the final in Moscow.

A view shows a landslide, caused by heavy rain, near the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, a host city for the soccer World Cup, Russia July 15, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

Footage from the southern city of Volgograd showed a fresh landslide on an embankment near the stadium, which made a several-meter-deep hole in it and covered a sidewalk with mud.

A spokesman for the state Sport In company overseeing the construction said there were also leaks inside the stadium which could take up to a week to repair.

“I’m sorry for the city. They invested so much money and it was washed away by one rain,” 19-year-old Vitaly Ovchinnikov, a local resident, told Reuters TV.

Volgograd Arena, a stadium that can accommodate up to 45,000 spectators, was built for the World Cup at a cost over 16 billion rubles ($257 million), according to data on the regional government’s website.

“It’s not normal. It was built for federal money, for taxes we pay them,” another local resident, Mikhail Nesterenko, 64, said.

Eight teams played World Cup group matches in Volgograd, including England and Japan who made it to the knockout stages.

Spokesmen for the Volgograd government and Sport In said the rain was extraordinary and was dealt with as an emergency.

“This happens once in a hundred years,” a Sport In spokesman said.

The Stroytransgaz company, which built the stadium, gave no immediate comment.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, additional reporting by Gabrielle Tetrault-Farber; editing by Ed Osmond/Keith Weir

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