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Putin promises world cup stadium will be ready on time

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin promised FIFA on Friday that a much-delayed stadium in St. Petersburg, Russia, will be ready in time to host Confederations Cup and World Cup matches.

The 69,000-seat stadium has had repeated problems, including worker deaths, cost rises and technical issues. The field wobbles because of a poorly installed mechanism that allows it to slide in and out of the stadium.

"It's a very lamentable story," Putin told FIFA president Gianni Infantino at a meeting in the Kremlin, adding "the construction workers promise to fix everything by the end of this year."

The stadium has taken almost a decade to build, with so many scandals that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called it "disgraceful" in 2012.

Last week, a former deputy governor of St. Petersburg was arrested on suspicion of embezzling on a contract to supply display screens to the stadium. The stadium is set to cost more than $600 million. Until the ruble dropped sharply in value in 2014, the same ruble budget was worth more than $1 billion, making it one of the most expensive soccer stadiums in history.


Argentina, Croatia tied

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro beat Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 7-5 in Zagreb, Croatia, to leave the two teams tied at 1 after the opening singles matches in the Davis Cup final. Doubles are today while reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.

Argentina is the only nation in the Davis Cup's 116-year history to have reached four finals without winning the title. Croatia is targeting its second title after beating Slovakia in the final in 2005.


GOLF: Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen and Thorbjorn Olesen powered into the lead after the second round of the World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. The duo shot 12-under par 60 in southwesterly winds that were even stronger than the opening day at Kingston Heath. The U.S. pair of Ricky Fowler and Jimmy Walker shot 5-under 67 to be in a four-nation tie for fourth, five shots behind the Danes.

OLYMPICS: Three gold medals and one silver medal were stripped from athletes caught in the latest round of positive doping retests from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games. Seven athletes from Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were retroactively disqualified in a re­analysis of their stored doping samples, the International Olympic Committee said. … Former U.S. track coach Stan Huntsman, whose men's team won seven gold medals in 1988 in Seoul, died Wednesday in Austin, Texas. He was 84. He was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004.

Times wires

Sports in brief 11/25/16 [Last modified: Friday, November 25, 2016 10:47pm]
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