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St. Petersburg's Zenit Stadium Fails FIFA World Cup Standards

Peter Kovalev / TASS

The removable field at the new Zenit football stadium, currently under construction in St. Petersburg, does not meet FIFA's field requirements for shock absorption. 

A source who witnessed FIFA's inspection of the field on Oct. 31 told the Regnum news agency that after jumping on the field, the FIFA inspector said that no championship match could be played on it. According to the inspector, the field failed the requirement by a factor of seven. 

The FIFA representatives informed their hosts that they would need to resolve the problem of the removable field themselves. According to Regnum's source, this would most likely mean completely replacing it entirely. 

The removable field and a retracting roof were considered highlights of the new stadium in St. Petersburg, which was expected to host matches of the FIFA Federations Cup in 2017 and the World Cup in 2018. The removable field was installed Oct. 24, and an amateur match was played on the field on Oct. 27. After Nov. 1 it was retracted to protect the turf from winter conditions. 

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