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Dynamo Moscow in talks with Arsenal over historic stadium inauguration game

Goal.com logo Goal.com 04-04-2017

Dynamo Moscow are in talks with Arsenal over becoming the first team to face the Russian side at their new stadium when it opens in 2018.

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The oldest Russian football club are moving to the multi-purpose VTB Arena next year and the Gunners have been invited to a historic inauguration match.

Barcelona have also been invited as a potential opponent but comments from a Dynamo spokesman suggest that an agreement was unable to be reached.

“We talked with Barcelona about the opening match after the World Cup and before the Russian Championship, but the dates did not suit,” said a press spokesman for Dynamo.

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“There has been contact with Arsenal and negotiations are ongoing. It would be a beautiful turn in history, because everyone remembers the Dynamo tour of England in the post-war period.”

Interestingly, Arsenal’s most famous match of their “non Highbury” era was played at arch-rivals Tottenham’s White Hart Lane stadium against Dynamo in late 1945.

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According to Arsenal's official website, Dynamo arrived for a European tour on the cusp of the cold war but the game still went ahead in front of a 54,000 crowd who watched the Russians win 4-3.

Despite the result, criticisms towards the Russian referee included the Mail labelling it “the most facial match which has ever been played” amidst claims of incorrect refereeing decisions on the fog-laden pitch.

VTB Arena is expected to be one of the training venues for Russia’s first ever World Cup next year as the 26,000 capacity makes it too small to hold official games.

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