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MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS, Veronika Sovetova/. Russia’s top footballers were selected by the coaching staff to enter the preliminary national roster for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia this summer, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Monday.
Russia’s preliminary national roster for the upcoming global football tournament was published on Monday listing a total of 30 players. The final national roster for the Confederations Cup listing a total of 23 footballers must be submitted before June 7.
"We have enlisted 30 players who are currently the best and they deserved to be included in the preliminary roster," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said in an interview with TASS.
"These are the footballers who performed decently over the past season, which was not easy for everyone," Mutko said. "The coaching staff conducted enormous research regarding each player on the roster and, therefore, the presented list of players contains no biased factors."
The Russian national football squad is scheduled to set off for the training camp in Austria’s Neustift on May 26. The team is scheduled to play two friendly matches ahead of the Confederations Cup, namely against the Hungarian squad on June 5 in Budapest and against the team from Chile on June 9 in Moscow.
The FIFA Confederations Cup, which is also viewed by experts as a rehearsal a year prior to the FIFA World Cup, will be held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and Kazan Arena in Kazan.
Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.
The Draw for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup was held on November 26, 2016 in the Russian city of Kazan. Following the event, hosts Russia was placed in Group A alongside with Portugal, Mexico and New Zealand. Group B has brought together Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon.
The opening game will be held in St. Petersburg on June 17 between Russia and New Zealand. Russia will face Portugal in Moscow on June 21 and on June 24 it will play Mexico in Kazan.