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Russia, Belarus set to play friendly football match in Minsk on June 7

It will be the first away match for the Russian national team in 2024

MOSCOW, May 2. /TASS/. The national football teams of Belarus and Russia are scheduled to play a friendly football match in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on June 7, the press office of the Russian Football Union (RFU) announced in a statement on Thursday.

RFU President Alexander Dyukov told journalists earlier in the year that the Russian national football squad would play one friendly match in June and that Belarus was being looked at as the potential opponent.

"The friendly football match will be played at the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in Minsk," the RFU’s statement reads. "It will be the first away match for the Russian national team in 2024."

The Dinamo Stadium in Minsk was opened in 1934, undergoing a number of renovations since then. It currently seats over 22,240 spectators.

According to the most recent World Ranking List of the world’s governing body, FIFA, the Belarusian national football sits in 97th place, while Russia currently occupies 35th place.

Earlier in the day, RFU Secretary General Maxim Mitrofanov told TASS that the Football Federation of Tajikistan (FFT) had offered the Russian Football Union to play a friendly football match on the territory of Russia.

The Russian national football team played an away friendly match against Tajikistan on November 17, 2022, ending in a scoreless draw. Mitrofanov said the RFU is now considering Tajikistan's proposal to hold a possible rematch, keeping its options open to other possibilities.

"The national teams of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are currently playing their officially scheduled matches," Mitrofanov said. "The national team of Uzbekistan in particular is very strong and I believe it will be at the top of our list… So we are talking about it. Tajikistan has already proposed playing a match in Russia and we are also considering other options for matches."

Russia’s football ban

The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) announced on February 28, 2022 that the Russian national team and all professional clubs representing the country were barred from taking part in FIFA tournaments.

In turn, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) made a similar decision in regard to the Russian national football team’s participation in UEFA tournaments.

Both FIFA and UEFA cited Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine as grounds for their respective bans on Russian teams’ participation in competitions.

Since sanctions were introduced, the Russian national football squad has played a host of friendlies against other countries, namely against Kyrgyzstan (2-1), Tajikistan (0-0), Uzbekistan (0-0), Iran (1-1), Iraq (2-0), Cameroon (1-0), Kenya (2-2), Cuba (8-0) and Serbia (4-0).