Bosnia and Herzegovina to play Russia in a friendly match in St Petersburg on 19 Nov.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s scheduling of a friendly game with Russia on the eve of the World Cup has been criticised by Miralem Pjanic and others.
Russia will play Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly match in November, the Bosnia Football Association announced on its official website on Friday, sparking criticism from Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic and the mayor of Sarajevo.
The game will take place in St Petersburg on Nov. 19, one day before the World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to start.
Russia’s national teams were barred from international competition over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”.
Bosnia failed to qualify for the World Cup.
‘The FA know what I think’
“The decision is not good. I am speechless,” Pjanic was quoted as saying by Bosnian media. “In the national Football Association, they know what I think.”
The 32-year-old former Juventus and Barcelona player has made 107 international appearances since his debut in 2008. He now plays for Sharjah FC in the United Arab Emirates.
The mayor of Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo, Benjamina Karic, also reacted negatively on social media to the decision.
“Sarajevo as the city which has been under the longest siege from aggressors and me as a mayor strongly condemn the decision by the national Football Association to play a friendly match with Russia,” she posted on Twitter.
“Unless the decision is reversed, we will cease cooperation with the Football Association, which so far has been fruitful.”