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12 Nov, 2022 15:52

FIFA greenlights Russia friendly

It will be the country's first official fixture since the Ukraine conflict began
FIFA greenlights Russia friendly

Rankings will be affected by a FIFA-authorized friendly between the Russian men’s national team and Uzbekistan, as confirmed by the Uzbek football association.

Russia is currently banned from international competitions after FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA followed an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to take such action amid the military operation in Ukraine.

This meant that the Russian men’s team was eliminated from the Qatar 2022 World Cup playoff semifinals as Poland were handed a bye and then won the final against Sweden.

In recent weeks, Russia has also been omitted from Euro 2024 qualifying for UEFA’s international showpiece tournament set to be held in Germany.

The national team led by Valeri Karpin, who has just had his contract extended until the summer of 2024, has attempted to hold friendlies in the meantime and will follow up a 2-1 comeback win over Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek, in its first match since last November, with a clash against Uzbekistan.

The fixture will take place in Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent on November 20. Uzbekistan's football association has confirmed that FIFA has both given the go-ahead for the fixture and will allow it to influence rankings.

“The Football Association of Uzbekistan received authorization from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The Russian Football Union (RFU) received authorization from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). After that, the Football Association of Uzbekistan and the Russian Football Union received authorization for the match from FIFA,” the Uzbek FA told TASS.

“There are six substitutions in the game. The result of the match will count towards FIFA rankings,” the organization added.

The match between Russia and Uzbekistan will go ahead after the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed that a planned friendly international against Russia wouldn’t go ahead.

“The friendly match between the ‘A’ national teams of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia, which was supposed to be played in Saint Petersburg on 19th November, will not be played at that time,” ran a message on the organization’s website.

“At today’s session of the Executive Board of the BH Football Federation, the match planned for 19th November was postponed. The BH FF president, Vico Zeljkovic, stated that the playing of this friendly match will be extended for some future date.” 

Before taking on Uzbekistan, however, Russia will meet Tajikistan in Dushanbe three days earlier on November 17.

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