The Russia Report
Russia 2018 organisers tell Andy May that the World Cup final venue will be ready in just two years.
Last Updated: 24/02/11 8:49am
The venue for the 2018 World Cup final will be ready with five years to spare.
All of Russia's sixteen stadiums will either be built from scratch or redeveloped for the competition but Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium needs to be complete for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Angelika Biryukova from the Luzhniki complex said: "it will be finished in two years, it has to be. We will have new seating and transport links around the stadium will be better."
This news is likely to please Fifa given the fact that Brazil are behind schedule; work has started at only six of the twelve stadiums chosen for 2014. And South Africa had problems in the build up to last year's tournament.
It is a huge project in Russia because the number of stadiums - along with the distance between the host cities - make 2018 the biggest competition ever, literally. There is almost 1200 miles between Sochi and Saint Petersburg which is the same distance between Glasgow and Valencia.
At the moment, the Luzhniki has a plastic playing surface but Alexander Djordjadze from Russia 2018 says it will be grass for the World Cup.
"Of course - it is a Fifa requirement. Most of our venues will be pure football grounds with the exception of the Luzhniki which is historically an athletics stadium."
When I was in Moscow the temperature was -4C in the day and with only 90 minutes before kick-off, Uefa did not know if Rubin Kazan's Europa League match with FC Twente would go ahead. In the end it did, with the Dutch side winning 2-0. But the weather will not be an issue in 2018 as it tends to be hot in the summer.
A British-based company was involved with both the Russian and Qatar World Cup bids; Crystal CG International produced both countries' stadium presentations. Mark Beard, Crystal's Sporting Director, told us that Russia have quite a job on their hands: "they have got some very unique designs in very iconic positions.
"It is a big undertaking but if you are going to pick a nation to produce the goods it would be Russia."
Clearly a lot of England supporters will be wondering why a company in London was helping Russia.
"From a business point of view we were asked to produce these images for Russia and we would have done the same for England 2018 if they had asked us - or any other country."
What is more concerning for fans is the threat of terrorism in Russia. Last month at least 35 people were killed and more than 100 injured after a suicide bomber targetted Moscow's Domodedovo airport. Security has been tightened but Russians are worringly used to terrorism.
In the queue for a bag and body search at the airport one member of staff said: "This happens very often in Russia. It is terrible but it can be here or there at any time."
Whilst Russia 2018 have no control over terrorists, they do when it comes to the sixteen stadiums, promising 'one of the best competitions ever'. Now they need to deliver.
You can hear Andy May's Russia Report all this week on Sky Sports News Radio and skysports.com. Click here for more.