Russian Federation relieved after passing first World Cup test

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

The 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup is underway in Russian Federation, bringing together eight of the world's leading national teams for 16 games across four venues and culminating in a final in St Petersburg on Sunday 2nd July. He said that everything was "on the table", including playing on a different date or with a different format.

This year's tournament is held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russian Federation and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.

But New Zealand's resistence was eventually broken 20 minutes from the end, when Fedor Smolov tapped in Alexander Samedov's low cross from the right to put the result beyond doubt and give Russian Federation an ideal start to the tournament.

Russia's win eases the pressure on its second game, against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in Moscow on Wednesday.

Federation Internationale de Football Association created a new "regional supporter" category for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup cycles to replace the "national supporter" slot that had been used for previous tournaments.

A three-step system allows referees to stop a match if players receive racist abuse and request a public announcement, then suspend the match if behavior persists and if necessary abandon the match.

One "clear error" might be overturned every four or five games, Federation Internationale de Football Association head of refereeing Massimo Busacca suggested a year ago.

For that, though, they need to do something they have never done at the Confederations Cup: win.

Poloz had a penalty claim turned down when he rounded Marinovic and went to ground, with referee Wilmar Roldan receiving no help from the video assistant - while Georgiy Dzhikiya's powerful strike was pushed wide by the keeper.

Eight teams compete in the four yearly event, the six winners of the Confederations around the world alongside the FIFA World Cup Champions and the host nation. Portugal had to wait for what seemed an unnecessary review of a good goal scored.

It took at least 30 seconds for Vargas's goal in second-half stoppage time to be confirmed after Alexis Sanchez was judged not to have been in an offside position earlier in the move.

Vitaly Mutko, deputy prime minister and organizing committee chief, told Germany's Spiegel Online: "The attempt to portray Russian Federation as a unsafe country is something we know about, we also saw that before the Olympic Games in Sochi".

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