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11th Sep 2022

Edin Džeko and Miralem Pjanić slam Bosnian FA for arranging friendly with Russia

Callum Boyle

Bosnia will face Russia in November

Edin Džeko and Miralem Pjanić have slammed the Bosnia and Herzegovinian Football Association for arranging a friendly with Russia.

Bosnia will play Russia in St Petersburg on November 19, one day before the World Cup is due to start. Russia’s national teams are currently banned from international competitions following their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow call a ‘special operation.’

But the FA’s decision to do so has sparked outrage amongst the players and mayor of Sarajevo, with captain and star man Džeko, leading the calls against the idea.

“I am against the playing of this match! I am always and only for peace” he told Bosnian outlet Klix.

“The association knows my opinion! Unfortunately, I am not the one who makes the decisions with whom Bosnia and Herzegovina will play, but I have my position which is clear and which does not include playing this match, while innocent people are suffering. I stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in these difficult times for them.”

Pjanić also echoed those sentiments, saying: “The decision is not good. I am speechless. In the national Football Association, they know what I think.”

The Mayor of Sarajevo, Benjamina Karić posted her thoughts on Twitter. She said: “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.

“Unless the decision is reversed, we will cease cooperation with the Football Association, which so far has been fruitful.”

Before their ban was imposed, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all said that they wouldn’t play their World Cup qualifiers against Russia.

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