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Bosnia postpones Russia football friendly after backlash

Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday postponed their controversial friendly international against Russia in Saint Petersburg this month.

The November 19 game will be “postponed for a later date”, the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s football federation announced in a statement.

The federation did not provide additional details about why the match was cancelled or offer a new date for any potential match. 

Bosnian sports officials were lambasted by both players and others after announcing in September that it had accepted an offer to play in Russia, despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the announcement, mayor Benjamina Karic in the capital Sarajevo threatened to cut ties with the federation if it did not reverse its decision, saying the move was “discrediting” Bosnia.

Sarajevo was besieged by Serb forces during a brutal war in the 1990s.

Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who previously played for Juventus and Barcelona, also panned the match, saying it was “not a good decision”, and one that left him “speechless”. 

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s national team and clubs were suspended from all FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice, including the 2022 World Cup starting in Qatar next month.

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