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Russia faces up to its future

FIFA World Cup
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Croatia's resilience propels them into semifinals

World Cup 2018
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Russian Football Union suggest St. Petersburg for Euro 2020 opener

Zenit arena wide view 170211
Zenit play their club football at St. Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium.

The Russian Football Union has asked UEFA to pick St. Petersburg as host for the opening match of the 2020 European Championship.

UEFA's executive committee will choose a host on Dec. 7 for the showpiece opener of a tournament being co-hosted by 13 countries.

The decision will come two days after the International Olympic Committee will weigh banning Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang because of state-backed doping at Sochi in 2014.

St. Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium hosted the opening game and final of the Confederations Cup this year. It will host seven games at the World Cup, including a semifinal and the third-place game.

The 68,000-capacity venue is competing for the Euro 2020 honour alongside the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, the Eurostadium in Brussels, Hampden Park in Glasgow and Rome's Olympic Stadium.

UEFA must also decide next week to retain or drop the Belgian capital from the tournament because of stalled stadium construction.

Cardiff's Principality Stadium and Stockholm's Friends Arena are potential replacements after being overlooked in the original selection.

UEFA said it will also draw lots next week to pick pairs of host cities for each of six groups in the 24-team tournament. UEFA has previously said it would have up to six options in the lottery.

The other Euro 2020 group-stage hosts are: Baku's Olympic Stadium, the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Bucharest's National Arena, the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest, Copenhagen's Parken Stadium, the Aviva Arena in Dublin and Munich's Allianz Arena.

The 13th venue -- Wembley Stadium in London -- will host the semifinals and final.

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