Russia's Response To World Cup Seating Requirements Appears To Be Both Unsafe And Pointless

Their “solution” appears to be a slap in the face to both FIFA and soccer fans.

If you’re interested in visiting one of Russia’s 11 host cities next summer to catch a live World Cup game, you might want to cross Ekaterinburg off the list after seeing what the city’s stadium has in store for soccer fans. The World Cup standards dictate that every venue for the global event accommodate at least 35,000 fans, which could exceed the existing accommodations in some smaller towns in host nations. However, Russia came up with a dubious solution to make its 27,000-seat Ekaterinburg Arena, originally built in 1957, compliant with the policy — which FIFA appears to have no qualms about.

Using a comical amount of temporary scaffolding, officials have placed additional seating not so much in the stadium, but near it with a some truly questionable sightlines for the on-field action. The two installments of bleachers on either end of the venue bring the seating capacity up to the governing body’s standards for World Cup venues.

The notoriously corrupt FIFA, clearly not as concerned about the safety or user experience of its fans when compared to the additional revenue generated by extra seats, tweeted out its tacit approval of the suspect retrofit, conveying that the venue looks “fire” using an emoji.

After seeing so many haunting images of abandoned and decrepit facilities in World Cup and Olympic host nations, repurposing existing infrastructure is an admirable goal, but the outcry over this ridiculous-looking solution was swift.

However, FIFA finds the temporary adaptation to be not only acceptable but virtuous, firing off another emoji, this one a “thumbs up” in response to a tweet that reads as a thinly-veiled criticism of the approach.

FIFA has offered more than emojis to approve of the bizarre solution. Speaking to The Guardian, a FIFA spokesperson offered, “In the case of Ekaterinburg, temporary seats are being installed in order to ensure that the renovation work would conserve the historical façade of the stadium and that maintenance costs are reduced after the Fifa World Cup. Inspection visits and detailed reports have shown that the temporary seats in the Ekaterinburg Arena fully comply with all safety and security requirements.”

The statement makes one wonder what exactly are the unknown safety and security requirements that would allow for this arrangement that appears to offer no accommodation for disabled fans and questionable structural integrity. Further, this is the view of the field bleacher-relegated fans will “enjoy”:

The stands are expected to be removed after hosting just four group games, returning the venue to its original seating capacity for its primary use as the home of Russian Premier League team FC Ural.

AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less