FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in Russian Federation


"For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar there are already problems with the timetable, so (the date switch) can hardly happen (there) two years in a row", added Grindel, who is also a council member at world soccer governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association.

Earlier on Saturday, the organizing committee of the 2018 World Cup, also dealing with the Confederations Cup, informed that Russian low-income citizens, including families with many children, orphans and disabled people, will be able to visit the Confederations Cup matches for free.

Matip made 27 appearances for Liverpool this season and enjoyed nearly 2500 minutes of playing time for the Reds, spearheading their first top four finish in two years.

Russia's players duly delivered a victory their head of state had all but demanded this week by beating a poor New Zealand team 2-0. Moreover, head coach Hugo Broos admitted that he doesn't fancy picking players who don't value the shirt enough and that could mean the end of Matip's global career.

Regular names like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels have all been rested as fringe and emerging players are given a chance to shine.

"This is a very honourable role and a big responsibility, and we are confident that the forthcoming Tournament of Champions will be held in an atmosphere of celebration and hospitality towards all guests and teams of the Confederations Cup".

"So, we're slightly deflated but the team showed a lot of spirit".

Russia's win eases the pressure on winning its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday. This will be an important game as Group A also have other two teams Portugal and Mexico.

Stanislav Cherchesov wants to start building for a new period of success for Russian Federation at the Confederations Cup.

When the goal came, it had an ugly finish after two pretty pieces of individual skill once the All-Whites defense needlessly lost the ball. New Zealand's Michael Boxall got a touch on the ball and was credited with an own goal.

Alexander Yerokhin sparked the attack with an interception around 30 yards from goal, and his pass was helped on by Poloz into the path of Denis Glushakov.

A Confederations Cup trophy, never mind a World Cup title, might be too much to ask even for Putin, But Saturday was a start.