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CSKA Moscow's challenge: their biggest crowd didn't go to see them

The July 5 concert showed CSKA Arena in the sold-out, big atmosphere that's yet to attend the football.

MOSCOW -- It took the new and impressive CSKA Arena, opened in the northwest of the Russian capital in September 2016, barely 10 months to see its first sellout crowd. Ironically, it happened when its owners, CSKA Moscow, are more than a thousand miles away from it on a preseason tour in Austria.

It was for the Park Live Festival, which took place on July 5. 

The Red Army club, who were the most powerful and correspondingly considered as the most popular Soviet club in the postwar...

 By Nick Ames

Russia's oldest club has lived through tragedies but hopes for bright future

Oleg Larionov is nominally the stadium manager, but in many ways, his job is keeping Znamya Truda going.

Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Russia -- When Oleg Larionov thinks about a hot early summer's day in 2004, the memories come quickly, but the words themselves take longer to form. The visual part is easy: It was the last time Znamya Truda Stadium, the oldest in continuously occupied Russian territory, was packed to the rafters.

Describing the scene is harder. The citizens of Orekhovo-Zuyevo had come to mourn a tragedy, and nobody could quite predict how the rawest of emotions would manifest themselves.

"The...

Lessons from the Confederations Cup: Is Russia ready to host a World Cup?

Mark Ogden discusses the uncertainties surrounding stadiums such as Fisht Stadium in Sochi ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Russia has hosted 16 games across four venues during the Confederations Cup over the past fortnight as the country prepares to host the World Cup in a year's time.

Russia 2018 will be played on a much greater scale, with 32 nations aiming to win the trophy during a monthlong tournament. But after successfully staging the Confederations Cup, which saw Germany emerge as winners with a 1-0 victory over Chile in St. Petersburg on Sunday, is Russia now ready to stage the World...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Russia given extra doping tests during 2014 World Cup - former FIFA doctor

Mark Ogden discusses the uncertainties surrounding stadiums such as Fisht Stadium in Sochi ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Russia's deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko says hooliganism will not happen at next year's World Cup like it did in Marseille.
Russia's deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko defends the attendance at the Confederations Cup.

Russia's 2014 World Cup squad were subject to extra doping tests, former FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak told BBC Sport.

Dvorak said the tests adhered to correct procedures and were carried out because of rumours about Russian athletes, but they came back negative.

"We heard some rumours about xenon in Russia, so we decided to test that," Dvorak said.

"We just tested the Russian team for that because the substance was unknown in the rest of the world. All tests were negative."

Xenon, a gas...