Russia announces Iran match
The Russian men’s national football team have announced upcoming friendly matches against Kyrgyzstan and Iran, with the latter likely to take place in Tehran, according to reports.
Russian teams at all levels remain banned from UEFA and FIFA competitions following the onset of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine – a situation which prevented the men’s team from attempting to qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
But they can play friendly internationals and will take on an Iran team which will play at the World Cup in a group alongside the USA, England and Wales.
The Iranians will host the Russian team managed by Valeri Karpin in a game planned for November, with a date and location to be confirmed but which will likely take place in Tehran, according to Match TV.
The match against Kyrgyzstan is scheduled for September 24 in Bishkek’s Dolen Omurzakov Stadium and will be a first football meeting at this level between the two nations.
A third friendly is also targeted for November. The details have not been confirmed, although reports in Russia have indicated that Bosnia and Herzegovina could be the opponents.
“The coaching staff of the Russian national team is happy to have the opportunity to get together again and hold a full-fledged training camp,” said manager Karpin, who later announced a provisional 35-man squad for the meeting with Kyrgyzstan.
“Iran are a World Cup participant, a team with a good rating. There are questions about the dates of the matches, Iran play the first match on November 21 at the World Cup [against England].
“Negotiations are underway,” added Karpin when asked about an exact date.
The Russian national team have not played since a World Cup qualifying defeat to Croatia in Split back in November.
That loss ended their hopes of qualifying directly for Qatar, although Russia were due to play Poland in a European qualifying playoff semifinal in Moscow in March, before a potential qualifying final against Sweden or the Czech Republic.
After the onset of the military campaign in Ukraine, all three teams refused to play Russia before UEFA and FIFA confirmed their sanctions against the country.
Poland were handed a bye to the playoff final, where they defeated Sweden to qualify for Qatar.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) has since lost its legal bid at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland to overturn the ban.
Russia are currently ranked number 35 in FIFA’s men’s ratings, with Iran in 22nd spot and Kyrgyzstan down in 95th.