MOSCOW (AP) — After years of controversy, Russian officials think their World Cup has weathered the storm.
Stadiums are either finished or nearing completion, and the Confederations Cup is going smoothly.
“The project is very big and there are some delays or operational questions, minor questions, but nothing critical,” Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who oversees World Cup preparations, said Saturday.
But with a year to go, some serious concerns remain around Russia’s 643.5-billion-ruble ($10.8 billion) World Cup dream.
Workers’ deaths and alleged rights abuses taint the new stadiums. Teams will live in far-flung, hard-to-secure locations. Many of the stadiums risk becoming white elephants.