It appears increasingly likely that the first leg of the UEFA Cup clash between CSKA Moscow and Maccabi Haifa will played in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. The game is due to be played on February 14, with the return leg in Israel one week later.
For security reasons, UEFA has banned games between teams from different countries being played too close to the Caucasus, or to the cities of Pyatigorsk and Vladikavkaz.
The Kuban Stadium in Krasnodar holds 28,000 spectators and has hosted Russian teams' UEFA Cup games in the past; on one occasion, the Russian national team played there. Another less-likely option being considered is the 12,500-capacity SKA Stadium in Rostov.
The management of CSKA and team coach Valery Gazzayev decided to hold just one training camp between now and the first leg of the match. The camp will be held in Israel in the last two weeks of January.
In an interview with Russian daily Sports Express, Gazzayev explained the decision to forgo an additional training camp. "The Russian national team is playing a friendly in Amsterdam on February 7 and half of the team CSKA team has been invited to join the will be made up of CSKA players," he said. "There will be no time to cram in another training camp between that game and the UEFA Cup match."
Gazzayev does not believe that the Russian exhibition match against the Netherlands is necessary and says it could harm his team's preparations for the UEFA Cup clash. While he says that he has not yet contacted the Russian national team coach, Guus Hiddink, to ask for the CSKA players to be released from the national team roster, but says that he does not rule out doing so closer to the date of the game.
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