Russian football chief rules out Moscow as venue for Russia-Iran friendly match

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TASS – MOSCOW, The Russian capital of Moscow will not be the venue for a mooted friendly football match between the Russian and Iranian national teams and two other options are under negotiations at the moment, Vitaly Mutko, the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), told TASS on Thursday.

A source close to the situation told TASS last week that the RFU and the Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) reached an agreement to hold a friendly football match between the two national teams in Russia on October 10.

“We will come up soon with an official statement,” Mutko, who also serves as a Russian deputy prime minister, said in an interview with TASS. “We are still in talks on a possible venue for the match.”

“The game will be undoubtedly held in Russia, but Moscow is not the venue,” Mutko stated. “Two options are currently negotiated.”

Iran, which holds 24th place in the most recently published FIFA World Rankings list, have already passed the qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and secured the birth in the global quadrennial football tournament, which will be held next year for the first time in Russia.

Russia, ranked 62nd in FIFA World Rankings, played a friendly match against Iran in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in February losing the game 0-1. The team of the former Soviet Union played against Iran on three occasions winning all of them – in 1976 (Olympic Games 2-1), in 1978 (1-0) and in 1985 (2-0).

National teams around the globe are currently in the qualifying stage, battling for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while Russia as the host nation has been already guaranteed a berth in the world’s main quadrennial football event.

Therefore, the Russian national team is playing friendly football matches in the run-up to the much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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