Putin orders officials to speed up World Cup stadium construction


MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered officials in St. Petersburg to speed up construction of a trouble-plagued stadium, which is scheduled to host matches during the 2018 World Cup, including a semifinal.

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In a decree published Monday on the Kremlin’s website, Putin said the stadium – provisionally named Zenit Arena – and other infrastructure must be built on time.

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The stadium in Russia’s second-largest city has been in construction for almost a decade, and St. Petersburg City Hall announced Friday it had fired the general contractor over cost overruns and delays.