MOSCOW: The Russian World Cup organisers want Brazil to play their national team in the official match to reopen the redeveloped Luzhniki Olympic stadium.
The invitation was handed over by Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to Brazilian confederation officials on the sidelines of last week’s FIFA Council meeting in Zurich.
Originally known as the Lenin Stadium, the venue underwent its first redevelopment for the 1980 Olympic Games and has been shut for further comprehensive rebuilding, at a cost of around $530m, since late 2010 when Russia was awarded host rights to the World Cup.
Capacity for 2018, when the venue will stage both the Opening Match and the final as well as other games, will be 81,000.
Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup finals so the match would be an informal ‘hand-over’ event.