There is no doubt that Russia’s return to the international sports scene will be through Asia. The Russian Football Federation (RFU) confirmed in a statement that the men’s national team will play a friendly match this week against Iran. It is scheduled for Thursday, March 23 in Tehran. Excluded from all international competitions by FIFA and UEFA since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia was removed last year from the road of qualification for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar. For 2022, it has played only three friendlies, against former Soviet republics, Kyrgyzstan in September, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in November. The match in Iran this week will be the first on its schedule for 2023, the only one so far.
— Published 21 March 2023