Cherchesov wants new period of Russian Federation success

Not flawless, but good enough to avoid game-changing referee mistakes at the World Cup.

World champions Germany and the champions from FIFA's six confederations are competing in the two-week tournament that will allow Russian Federation to test its soccer infrastructure in four of the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has ordered tighter monitoring of offensive incidents at Confederations Cup matches which kick off Saturday, and wants referees to stop play if fans persist.

Russia's midfielder Denis Glushakov (L) vies for the ball against New Zealand's defender Michael Boxall during the 2017 Confederations Cup group A football match between Russian Federation and New Zealand at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint-Petersburg on June 17, 2017.

Hosts Russia got off to a winning start at the Confederations Cup on Saturday, Fedor Smolov's second-half goal sealing a 2-0 win over New Zealand in Saint Petersburg in the tournament opener.

In front of Vladimir Putin, Russia cruised to a 2-0 victory in the $1.4 billion Krestovsky Stadium.

The future of the Confederations Cup is uncertain given the strain it puts on clubs, players and World Cup organisers, German Football Association President Reinhard Grindel said on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Russia marched on toward hosting football's biggest party when the rehearsal tournament, the Confederations Cup, kicked off in the $750 million new stadium in Putin's native St. Petersburg. At the St. Petersburg stadium it ended; Russian Federation 2-0 New Zealand. "But we have coped with our task, so let's play on".

Federation Internationale de Football Association formally launched the initiative jointly with the game's law-making body IFAB on Thursday as part of a strategy "focusing on improving fairness and the image of the game", it said in a statement.

For Russia, ranked 63rd in the world - between Scotland and Albania - it was a case of laying a platform and easing the pressure, although Cherchesov was insistent that pressure is not an issue for him and his squad. Though 50,251 were in St. Petersburg Stadium that still left more than 10,000 empty seats.

"We are united in the belief that football is destined to serve the goals of public development, to unite nations and continents, to promote the values of fair and attractive play, to strengthen will and faith, to inspire, to give a dream to the younger generation", Putin said. They last won a competitive game in October 2015.

Gabulov said: "I wouldn't say this is a very young team, I believe our team members are in their prime and these are ambitious guys".

"As far as I know, thorough preparations have been made". "We could have been more aggressive".

Russia's coach suggested it was an advantage to have such a pep talk.

"When the president of our country comes out to make a speech it mobilises us and gives us great motivation, but it also adds to our responsibilities", Cherchesov told reporters.



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