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Fenerbahce FC to play against Russia's Lokomotiv Moscow FC in Istanbul

February 16, 9:50 UTC+3 ANKARA
Lokomotiv played an away UEFA Europa League’s match against Besiktas FC in November, when numerous violent clashes of fans with police were reported before and after the match
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Fenerbahce FC fans

Fenerbahce FC fans

© EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

ANKARA, February 15. /TASS/. Turkey’s Fenerbahce FC and Russia’s Lokomotiv Moscow FC will play the game of football on Tuesday without thinking of politics as part of their Europa League fixtures, Vitor Pereira, the head coach of the Turkish club, was cited as saying on Monday by local daily Fanatik.

Lokomotiv is playing its away match of UEFA Europa League’s Round of 32 against Fenerbahce FC in Istanbul on February 16. The second leg encounter between both clubs had been scheduled for February 25 in Moscow.

"I understand nothing in politics," Pereira said. "Tomorrow we will be simply playing the game of football. None of the players will be taking into account political aspects.

Lokomotiv played an away UEFA Europa League’s match against Besiktas FC in November, when numerous violent clashes of fans with police were reported before and after the match.

Relations between Russia and Turkey soured after an F-16 fighter jet from the Turkish Air Force shot down on November 24 a Russian Su-24M bomber, which was on anti-terrorism mission over Syria. Ankara claims the Su-24M bomber violated the Turkish air space in the area of the border with Syria, while Moscow maintains that the Su-24M plane stayed exclusively over the Syrian territory.

On November 28, the Russian president signed a decree on measure to ensure Russia’s national security and protect Russian citizens from criminal and other illegal actions and on the use of special economic measures in respect of Turkey.

The decree introduces visa regime starting January 1, 2016, prohibits charter flights between Russia and Turkey and obliges Russian travel operators against selling travel packages to Turkey. Visa restrictions, however, are not applicable to Turkish citizens, who have temporary sojourn permits or leaves to remain in Russia and those commissioned to work at diplomatic missions.

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