MOSCOW: St Petersburg, home of the Zenit fans who disgraced themselves last weekend in Moscow, has been proposed to host the final of the Confederations Cup in 2013 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Confederations Cup is the warm-up mini-tournament staged by every World Cup host a year before the main event.

A meeting of the Russian organisers with FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke generated the idea that for the World Cup Moscow, in 2018, should stage the Opening Match, several group matches, one semi-final and the Final at the Luzhniki Stadium. It was also proposed that the second semi-final would be held at St Petersburg’s stadium, which is currently being built on Krestovskiy Island

St Petersburg was also put forward as the venue for the Opening Match and final of the 2017 Confederations Cup.  It is – together with Spartak, Kazan and Sotchi – one of the four venues put forward for the ‘Festival of Champions’ in June 2017.  The FIFA executive committee will review the proposals at its next meeting in Tokyo on December 14.

Organising chairman and Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said: “Proposing Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the cradle of Russian football by the way, as the stage for the key matches of these two major FIFA events is an important operational decision for the LOC. It is part of our milestone achievements, and our preparations are already in full swing. We look forward to the validation of our suggestions in December so we can continue our mission.”

Mutko is also a member of the FIFA exco.

Last weekend the Russian league match between Dynamo and Zenit in Moscow was abandoned after 36 minutes after the Dynamo goalkeeper was injured by a firework, believed to have been thrown by a female hooligan supporter of champions Zenit. Some 53 fans were arrested.

Zenit risk a three-match home game ban and significant fine.

# # # #