Sochi 2014 Olympic Stadium World Cup bid hit by weather
Thursday, 12 April 2012
April 12 - A trip to inspect the stadium being built for the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi to see whether it should be one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup had to be abandoned when FIFA delegates were unable to land because of thick fog in the city.
The plane with the inspectors aboard was diverted due to heavy fog at Sochi's Adler International Airport.
The aircraft circled above the skies of the Black Sea resort for an hour before being diverted to Rostov, nearly 400 kilometers north.
Alexey Sorokin, the chief executive of Russia 2018, claimed that the diversion was not a major issue for FIFA and that the trip to Sochi will be re-arranged for later this month or in May.
"This is such a natural situation that we haven't even discussed it [with FIFA]," said Sorokin.
The $63.5 million (£39.7 million/€48.1 million) Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, designed by Populous and Buro Happold, is expected to be chosen as one of the venues.
The Stadium, designed like a shell to recall the glories of Fabergé art, will provide a seaside setting for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Sochi 2014.
It is officially named after Mount Fisht, a peak located in the western Caucasus mountains, in Adygea.
The Stadium walls and roof will be one continuous glass surface designed to reflect sunlight off the sea during the day.
The bowl opens to the north, allowing for a direct view of the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains, and the upper deck is open to the south, allowing for a view of the Black Sea.
The FIFA delegates are at the start of a two-month tour of Russia, trying to whittle down a list of 13 candidates cities to 11 by September.
The locations have been grouped into five clusters, and it is the southernmost cluster where FIFA was starting its tour.
During the visits, the delegation will be inspecting the sites of venues intended to host matches, though Russia will be either renovating or building anew every stadium for 2018.
They will listen to regional organising committees and candidate host city presentations as they bid to win the right to stage games in 2018.
Training sites and fan venues will also be considered as the delegation assess hosting concepts of each candidate city.
The Olympic Stadium was supposed to be the new home of Zhemchuzhina Sochi.
But they went bust in August 2011.
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August 2011: Blow to Winter Olympics and World Cup legacies as FC Sochi fold
September 2010: Russia hoping Sochi 2014 launchpad for Russia 2018 World Cup bid