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    MOSCOW METEOROLOGISTS FORECAST FAVORABLE WEATHER FOR UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 1/8 FINALS FEB. 24

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 20, 2004, RIA NOVOSTI - Moscow meteorologists forecast favorable weather conditions for the February 24 soccer match between Russia's Lokomotiv and France's Monaco. They say the temperature that day will be below freezing, but not lower than 2 or 3 degrees Centigrade. No strong wind is expected.

    Lokomotiv will be playing Monaco on its home turf in the first leg of the Champions League 1/8 finals. According to the European football governing body UEFA, the match may be cancelled only if the temperature goes below 15 degrees Celsius and the guest team refuses to play.

    The Lokomotiv press service reports that the preparations for the Champions League match against the French club are in full swing now. According to press attache Sergei Korolev, the soccer field at Moscow's Lokomotiv Stadium is completely ready for the Feb. 24 event: the underground heating system has been turned on and above-freezing temperatures are maintained under the roof cover.

    In reply to a question as to the possibility of moving the venue to another city, Korolev said Lokomotiv has an extra field in Novorosiisk, on Russia's Black Sea coast, but that it is unlikely to be used this time around.

    The Lokomotiv vs. Monaco match kicks off at 8:30 p.m., Moscow time, on February 24. The return leg is to take place in France March 10.

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