Friday, August 18, 2017

Soccer fans in Russia want more games in Yekaterinburg

Russian soccer fans are requesting that the national team of Russia switch its home games from Moscow to the city of Yekaterinburg.

While the team typically plays at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the Rusfan movement began a petition to move two 2013 World Cup qualifiers to the Ural city. Yekaterinburg's Central Stadium is the home arena for Russia's under-21 side, the Russian Cup final and will host a 2018 World Cup match, Rsport.ru reports.

Rusfan penned an open letter to Nikolai Tostykh, the chief of Russia FA, saying that the team's supporters in Yekaterinburg deserved to see their country play Group F matches against Israel and Luxembourg in September.

"This can be confirmed the level of organization and the level of support of the fans during youth team matches and Russian Cup matches," the letter said, according to Rsport.ru. "All these matches have benefited from excellent organization, and representatives of the foreign visiting teams like Poland, Moldova, the Czech Republic have underlined the high quality of the pitch. UEFA representatives have only positive things to say about these games."

Rusfan is a Moscow-based supporters club attempting to collect 27,000 signatures to support the initiative. The number is significant because it equals the number of seats in the Yekaterinburg initiative.

Russia has played at different Moscow stadiums, but the team typically does not play games outside the capital, Rsport.ru reports.