RFN Confederations Cup Predictions League

Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sánchez and Ruslan Kambolov are all set to rub shoulders this week as the cream of world football roll into town to fight for the FIFA Confederations Cup. What a cracker to kickstart the tournament as well; New Zealand, fresh from a friendly win over Irish second division club side Cabinteely, open up proceedings against the hosts in the Krestovsky Stadium (sorry, “St Petersburg Stadium”...) on a relaid surface that only arrived a matter of days ago. Denis … [Read more...]

Foreign Academies in Russia – Talent Development or Money Machines?

Earlier this month, Italian powerhouse Juventus announced that they would open two academies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Over the past four years, the club has held a number of training camps for local youth in Russia, for example in Sochi between April 29 and May 9 this year, and in Maykop between June 12 and 17 this month. Neither the camps nor academies are unique as the club have this kind of arrangements all over the world from Florida to Tokyo, and so do most other European … [Read more...]

Kuban Crisis Could Promote FC Sochi

Being a football fan in Sochi isn’t the easiest thing. Although the city has the top modern Fisht Stadium, built for the Winter Olympics in 2014, and adjusted for the 2018 World Cup, the city’s best football club, FC Sochi, play in the Second Division South, the third tier, where they are currently 5th, 15 points from promotion. Nevertheless, Sochi could be about to earn a ticket to the Football National League, as the club could take Kuban Krasnodar’s spot in the division according to … [Read more...]

‘Strip Russia’ campaign aiming for World Cup 2018

So there it was. Russia just awarded the World Cup in 2018, and the prime time sports show on Ireland’s top radio station, RTE Radio 1 and I got the call to give our reaction in Moscow. It was fair enough; I’d helped on the bid and worked in Russian sport. Logical as they couldn’t get anyone from the Russian Football Union (RFU) or a Russian sports journalist to come on. Plus my colleague was contracted with RTE and the producer knew me personally. I was there as a favor to give local reaction, … [Read more...]

Stadiums

(1) LUZHNIKI STADIUM - MOSCOW Estimated cost: €480m Seating capacity: 81,000 History: Luzhniki officially opened on July 31, 1956, intended for use as the Soviet Union's central stadium. In 57 years, the facility has undergone two major renovations - prior to the 1980 Summer Olympics  and in 1996-1997, when a roof was added to comply with UEFA standards. The stadium has hosted the Summer Olympics, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals, and numerous Russian national team matches. It has … [Read more...]