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Fulham FC says Craven Cottage unavailable as venue for Russia-Portugal friendly match

October 30, 2015, 19:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The proposed game had not been announced through any official Club channels and due to circumstances beyond the Club’s control, it is not possible for the fixture to take place, the statement says
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© Artyom Korotayev/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. A friendly match scheduled for next month between the national teams of Russia and Portugal will not be held at the Craven Cottage in London as it was reported earlier in the week, a press service of Fulham FC, which plays its home matches at the stadium, announced to TASS on Friday.

The Russian Football Union announced on Monday that the national team, which earlier in the month qualified for the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup, is scheduled to play in November two friendly fixtures. The first of the announced matches will be played in London on November 13 against Portugal and the second will take place in Russia’s southern city of Krasnodar on November 17 against Croatia.

"Fulham had been in discussions to host an international match at Craven Cottage during the next International break in November," the football club’s press service said in its statement for TASS.

"The proposed game had not been announced through any official Club channels and regrettably, due to circumstances beyond the Club’s control, it is not possible for the fixture to take place," the statement said. "Fulham is of course disappointed for all parties concerned."

The Russians played Portugal five times and has a record of one victory, one draw and three defeats, while the number of encounters with Croatia stands only at two with both matches ending with draws.

Following Russia’s qualifying match defeat to Austria in mid-June the national football team’s coaching staff saw a major overhaul. The previously Italian-dominated staff was dismissed along with former Head Coach Fabio Capello and Russia’s Leonid Slutsky was appointed in early August to take the helm of the team.

Slutsky managed to guide the national team to victories in all matches under his management starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5.

The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed by a crushing 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein three days later and then he took the team to victories over Moldova (2-1) on October 9 and Montenegro (2-0) on October 12.

Russia’s ambitions to be among the top world’s best national teams are fueled by the country’s current preparations for hosting the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup and 2108 World Cup.

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