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Kazan Activists Urge FIFA Chief To Save Trees From World Cup Parking Lot

FIFA President Gianni Infantino

KAZAN, Russia -- Activists in the Russian region of Tatarstan have urged the head of soccer's world governing body, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, to help save a grove of trees that is being cut down in order to build a stadium parking lot for the 2018 World Cup.

A letter sent by the activists to Infantino on November 8 says authorities in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan, have begun cutting down birches and other trees along the Kazanka River where they plan to build a parking lot for Kazan Arena.

The area itself, which has a capacity of more than 45,000 people, was completed in July 2013.

The activists reminded Infantino that FIFA vowed to "to promote a responsible attitude towards the environment and key priorities are minimizing the environmental impacts of [World Cup]-related activities."

The work of cutting down trees was suspended after a protest at the site by activists on November 5.