23.09.2020 14:13 h

Sweden-Russia friendly moved to Moscow over virus travel ban

Next month's international friendly between Sweden and Russia will be played in Moscow and not Stockholm as planned after the Swedish government refused to grant an exemption to its non-EU coronavirus travel restrictions, the Swedish FA said Wednesday.

To mitigate the spread of Covid-19, Sweden has put a temporary entry ban in place for travellers coming from outside the European Union or EEA nations, a rule which applies to Russia.

"Unfortunately we're forced to travel for the match against Russia because we still don't have a response from the government, even though we sent a written request August 27," Swedish FA secretary general Hakan Sjostrand said in a statement.

"I don't understand why there can't be an exception for the entry of elite footballers, as is the case in other occupations," he lamented, highlighting the "strict international protocols" which lead to "a much lower risk of contamination" than other authorised professions.

Russia's football federation confirmed in a brief statement the match would be held in Moscow on October 8 at a venue yet to be decided.