FIFA has approved the list of Venue Specific Training Sites (VSTSs) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ submitted by the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC). The list includes 36 VSTSs in 11 Host Cities – three for each one of the 12 FIFA World Cup stadiums. The VSTSs will be available for training sessions of the national teams participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 ahead of matches at the associated stadiums.
The VSTSs must meet a number of requirements in order to provide adequate conditions for the teams. In particular, they must have a high-quality natural grass pitch compliant with international standards, a press centre for a minimum of 100 people, equipped dressing rooms and stands with a minimum capacity for 500 people that can potentially be used by media and also spectators, should an open-to-public training session be held there. It is still to be decided which will be the two main VSTSs and the back-up one associated to each stadium.
All 36 VSTSs were included in the Russia 2018 infrastructure programme. Ten of them are newly built, while the remaining 26 are being renovated. Training sites to be used during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 must be commissioned by 1 May 2017, while the deadline for facilities to be used for the FIFA World Cup is 1 May 2018.
“Training sites used by teams participating in the FIFA World Cup will meet the highest quality standards,” said Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the LOC. “By preparing the VSTSs we are not only complying with our obligations to FIFA and providing competitors with the training facilities they need to prepare for their matches in the tournament. We are also establishing a long-term legacy for the sport in our country. After the World Cup, Russian football clubs, sports schools and ordinary football enthusiasts will continue to benefit from these high-quality pitches,” he went on to add.
“The quality of the training pitch is just as important as the stadium pitch. We are happy with the list received and confident that the players will find optimal conditions also when preparing for the matches. This means that the local community will be able to benefit from at least four high standard pitches as a legacy of the tournament – the stadium one, plus the three VSTSs”, says the head of FIFA’s World Cup Office, Chris Unger.