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Bosnia postpones Russia friendly amid criticism from own players

Bosnia and Herzegovina have postponed their upcoming friendly with Russia amid widespread criticism, including from their own players.

Bosnia announced in September they would face Russia in Saint Petersburg on November 19, a day before the World Cup gets underway in Qatar.

The game would have been Russia’s first against a European side since being banned from all FIFA and UEFA competitions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

However, following complaints from Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko, Bosnia’s Football Association (NFSBIH) has announced the match would no longer go ahead next month.

“The friendly between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia, which was supposed to be played on Nov. 19, will not be played at that time,” Monday’s statement read.

“At today’s session of the executive board of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the match planned for Nov. 19 was postponed.

“President of NFSBIH, Vico Zeljkovic, stated that the playing of this friendly match will be extended for some future date.”

Bosnia failed to reach the World Cup after finishing fourth in their qualification group, while Russia were blocked from participating in March’s play-offs as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Russia’s only match since last November was a 2-1 friendly win against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek in September.

(dpa/NAN)

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