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MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. National football teams of Russia and Argentina will play a friendly match in the Russian capital of Moscow on November 10, the world’s governing football body, FIFA, announced on Friday, however, did not specify the venue for the match.
Nikolai Gulyayev, the head of the Moscow Department for sports and tourism, said on Thursday that match between Russia and Argentina could be held on November 11 at the currently renovated legendary Luzhniki Stadium.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) was not available at the moment to officially confirm the information regarding the Russia-Argentina friendly football match and the selected venue for the game.
Moscow offers two stadiums as venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and they are the recently-built Otkritie-Arena, which opened on September 5, 2014, and Moscow’s famous Luzhniki Arena, which is intended to host the opening match, one of the semifinals and the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Refurbishment on the Luzhniki Arena was launched in 2013 and once the work was completed, the stadium extended its spectator capacity boasting up to 81,000 seats.
This is the second grand reconstruction of the stadium, which was initially built in 1957. The first major repair works on the stadium took place in the run-up to the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.
Following the current reconstruction efforts, the athletics tracks inside the stadium were removed, the spectators’ stand are now rectangular in form and moved closer to the pitch, while the number of tiers will be increased to 16 from the previous 13.
According to the FIFA.com website, one of the main aspects of the reconstruction project is to preserve the historical facade of the stadium, which since 1956 has hosted "a multitude of major sporting and cultural events, including the 1980 Summer Olympics, world championships in ice hockey, athletics and rugby and concerts featuring some of the world's greatest musical performers."
The Luzhniki Arena’s principal affinity, however, was with football since over 3,000 matches have been played there over the years.
National teams around the globe are currently in the qualifying stage, battling for a place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while Russia as the host nation has been already guaranteed a berth in the world’s main quadrennial football event.
Therefore, the Russian national team is playing friendly football matches in the run-up to the much anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup.