Russia and Bosnia agreed to hold a friendly match in November in St. Petersburg. Head of the Ukrainian Football Association Andrey Pavelko told about the appeal of Soviet football legends Blakhin and Belanov
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(Photo: Global Look Press)
The President of the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF) Andrey Pavelko said on Facebook (the owner of the Meta social network is recognized as an extremist organization in Russia and banned) that the owners of the “Golden Ball” Oleg Blakhin and Igor Byalanov called on the football players of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team to refuse participation in the association matches with the Russian national team.
“A meeting of the executive committee of the Ukrainian Football Association took place in the House of Football. The first item on the agenda, which received unanimous support, is an appeal to the management of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a request to cancel the decision to hold a friendly match with the Russian national team. At the same time, the owners of the “Golden Ball” Aleg Blakhin and Igor Bialanov appealed to the players of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a request not to participate in such a match,” Pavelka wrote.
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It became known on September 9 that the Russian national team will play a friendly match with the Bosnians. “Bosnia has accepted the offer to play an international friendly match with Russia,” the Bosnian union said in a statement. The game is scheduled for November 19 in St. Petersburg. The national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the first European team to play against Russia after February 24.
Radio Sarajevo reported that the decision to hold a match with Russia was made by the emergency committee of the Football Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of two representatives of the country’s three main ethnic groups (Bosnians, Serbs and Croats). Five members of the committee (Vika Žalković, Ivan Beus, Miloš Brkić, Dragan Saldo and Fuad Čolpa) voted “for”, one – against. The only one who voted against was the vice-president of the Football Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Irfan Duric. The leaders of the Bosnian national team, Edin Dzeko and Miralem Pjanic, also spoke against the match with Russia.
UAF also appealed to FIFA and UEFA to prevent this match. They believe that the decision to hold the match looks as if it is aimed at supporting a special operation in Ukraine.
This fall, the Russian national team will play two more friendly matches against Kyrgyzstan and Iran. The Russian team will play both matches on the road: with Kyrgyzstan on September 24 in Bishkek, the date of the game with Iran has not yet been determined (it will be held in November).
At the end of February, FIFA and UEFA suspended the Russian national team from participating in international matches. On March 24, the Russian national team was supposed to play against the Polish team in the semi-final play-off match for entering the final part of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Poland automatically advanced to the final of the matches, where they later beat the Swedes and made it to the 2022 World Cup.
Blakhin and Byalanov are former players of the USSR national team and Dynamo Kyiv. Blakhin received the “Golden Ball” award, which is presented to the best football player in Europe according to France Football magazine, in 1975, and Byalanov – in 1986. Blakhin is the record holder of the USSR team for the number of games played (112) and goals scored (42).