ST. PETERSBURG, March 21 (R-Sport) - The crisis in Ukraine has failed to disrupt plays for one of the country’s top football teams, Dynamo Kiev, to take on Spartak Moscow in a friendly to open the Russian giants’ new stadium, Spartak owner Leonid Fedun said Friday.
Spartak’s new stadium, the 44,000-seater Otkritie Arena, will be one of Russia’s most modern arenas when it opens in July, and will host games at the 2018 World Cup.
Spartak and Dynamo agreed last month to revive their old Soviet rivalry in a game to open the stadium, but that was before the crisis between Russia and Ukraine deepened, culminating Thursday in the former Ukrainian region of Crimea joining Russia.
“We’re prepared to play Dynamo Kiev. Spartak are ready to play,” Fedun said, adding that his club have applied to the Ukrainian Football Federation “to allow this match to be played.”
The decision could be out of Spartak’s hands. A Dynamo fan club appealed last month to their club’s management to cancel the friendly with Spartak, fearing “provocations” if the game took place, after which Dynamo president Igor Surkis suggested it would be inappropriate for the fixture to take place.