Football: Moscow clubs run out of stadiums to play matches in

MOSCOW (AFP) - Moscow clubs are facing serious problems staging matches as none of the city's main stadiums is currently in a fit state for top-class football.

Spartak Moscow general manager Roman Askhabadze was quoted by ITAR-TASS news agency as saying: "Such a force majeure situation when none of the venues in Moscow and the closest region are fit to host the matches of the Premiership has happened for the first time in Russia's history."

He explained that the pitch at the Lokomotiv stadium, where Spartak are playing their home games this season, was pronouced unfit for Premiership football this week and the club failed to find a suitable alternative for this weekend's match with Terek Grozny.

On Wednesday evening, the Russian Premier League ordered Spartak to play the match at Yekaterinburg, 1,700km away from Moscow.

Meanwhile, the venue for Sunday's Moscow derby between champions CSKA and Dynamo has yet to be fixed for the same reason.

Premier League security chief Alexander Meitin told reporters a stadium could be determined later on Thursday, although CSKA have asked for a postponement.

The reconstruction of the Luzhniki and Dynamo stadiums for the 2018 World Cup and the unfavourable weather conditions in the Russian capital in September are the reasons for the problem.

The enormous amount of rain which has fallen on Moscow in recent weeks has turned the pitch at the Khimki stadium, the home of CSKA and Dynamo, into a quagmire, while the turf of Lokomotiv stadium have also suffered after hosting several matches under heavy rain.

CSKA were forced to play Wednesday's Champions League match with Czech title holders Viktoria Plzen at Saint Petersburg's Petrovsky stadium.

Khimki arena officials have promised to repair the pitch as soon as possible but they are unlikely to have the turf ready for this weekend.

CSKA president Yevgeny Giner said he was confident that after the Dynamo match they would be able play the remaining matches before the winter break at Khimki.

"Where will we take on Dynamo?" Giner said. "I still don't know. Everything depends on the Premier League and Russian Football Union authorities.

"But the other matches we will play at Khimki arena. They (arena owners) promised either to repair the pitch or to change it completely in near future."