Russia, Ukraine not to be separated in Euros’ play-off stage

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Moscow, May 25 (IANS) Separating the Russian and Ukrainian teams in the playoff stage of the 2016 Euros in France, should both win the group stage, has been ruled out, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who heads the country’s football union, has said.

“Nobody will separate the teams. There will be no politics involved,” Mutko said on Tuesday, reports Tass.

In group B, Russia will play against England, Slovakia and Wales. Ukraine’s rivals in Group C will be Germany, Poland and Northern Ireland. The European Cup in France will take place June 10 – July 10.

According to the minister, Russian footballers and the national football team have never experienced any doping problems, which are unlikely to emerge at the 2016 Europe Cup.

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“Russian football has never experienced any problems with doping. Up to 2,000 samples were taken a year. FC CSKA was tested at the preliminary stage along with other leader clubs and there were no problems. Football players of our national team were also tested in March in France and everything was all right. I hope that there will also be no problems at the Euro Cup,” the sports minister said.

The Russian national football squad will set off for Switzerland on Tuesday to prepare for the Euro Cup. The Russian national football team will play a friendly with Czechs on June 1 in Innsbruck, Austria, and with Serbians on June 5 in Monaco.

The Russian national football team will arrive in France in the evening of June 5 immediately after the friendly with the Serbian squad.

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