TASS, May 12. Argentine President Mauricio Macri has cancelled his planned visit to the Russia-hosted FIFA World Cup over the deteriorating economic crisis the country has been facing, Argentina’s La Nacion daily said, citing sources.
"It is impossible to attend the World Cup under the circumstances. Going to Russia would mean losing the game with a lopsided score," the daily said, citing a source close to the Argentine president.
"He [the president] is definitely not going. It is out of the question in the current situation," the source added. However, there has been no official confirmation yet.
Following his January talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Macri said he hoped to attend the World Cup together with his daughter Antonia.
On Tuesday, Macri requested a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the wake of a slide in the value of the peso. According to Bloomberg, Argentina "is said to be seeking a credit line of as much as $30 billion."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup, the first-ever hosted by Russia, will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay will make up Group A, while Group B will include Portugal, Spain, Iran and Morocco. Group C is going to consist of France, Australia, Peru and Denmark, while Group D will be Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria. Group E will be composed of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia. Group F has Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, while Group G will encompass Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England. Finally, Group H has Poland, Colombia, Senegal and Japan.
The World Cup opening match will be between Russia and Saudi Arabia. During the group stage, Team Russia will also play with Egypt on June 19 and with Uruguay on June 25.