Russia To Play Anti-racism Match16 June 2003

The Russian national team are to show their support for the campaign to rid the game of racism. They will play a special match at the Lokomotiv stadium in Moscow on 20 June against a Russian Premiere League foriegn all-star side.

The coach of the all-star side has yet to be named, but the team’s players were elected by a nationwide vote. FC Dinamo Moskva and Armenia goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky will play behind a defence comprising FC Rostov’s South African player Matthew Booth, his compatriot Jacob Lekcetho from FC Lokomotiv Moskva, and Dinamo defender Pascal Mendy, who is from Senegal. Czech Republic star Jirí Jarošik, from PFC CSKA Moskva, will lead a midfield which also boasts Serbia and Montenegro playmaker Ognien Koroman, Spartak’s Senegalese schemer Baye Kebe, and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Elver Rahimic. However the final players have yet to be elected. Voters are deciding on the starting lineup, while the coach will add another nine players to the squad.

“It is a great honour to play for such a side. I am sure the game will attract a lot of attention. This is the first all-star game in Russian history, and I am happy to be part of it. My wish is that something like this could be organized in Armenia as well.”, said Berezovsky.

Jarošik added “The match will hopefully provide attractive football, and the result will be just as important.”

The match in Russia is one of the latest events in the football family’s anti-racism drive, which is being spearheaded by UEFA and the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.