- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian organizers are hurrying to lay a new field at the St. Petersburg stadium which will host the final of the Confederations Cup.

With less than a month to go until the tournament kicks off, the 68,000-seat St. Petersburg Stadium requires its third pitch following severe technical problems with the first two.

Organizers have started the “active phase” of laying a new pitch and it should be finished by June 2, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told Russian agency R-Sport. That’s 15 days before the arena is due to hold the opening game of the Confederations Cup between Russia and New Zealand.

The stadium has hosted just two Russian league games, and both times the playing surface cut up badly.

That pitch was the second to be fitted at St. Petersburg Stadium after the original one died, a Zenit St. Petersburg club official previously said.

The stadium was designed with a mechanism allowing the pitch to slide outside the stadium for better growing conditions. However, that isn’t working because of temporary facilities built around the arena for the Confederations Cup and next year’s World Cup.

Long-delayed and over budget, St. Petersburg Stadium has been plagued with problems including corruption scandals and workers’ deaths.

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