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Winner takes all in Moscow

Published: Monday 18 November 2002, 16.22CET
The Russian title will be decided on Thursday in a play-off between FC Lokomotiv Moskva and PFC CSKA Moskva.

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Published: Monday 18 November 2002, 16.22CET

Winner takes all in Moscow

The Russian title will be decided on Thursday in a play-off between FC Lokomotiv Moskva and PFC CSKA Moskva.

The Russian Premier-Liga title is set to be decided on Thursday after all parties involved agreed on the date, time and venue of the play-off between FC Lokomotiv Moskva and PFC CSKA Moskva.

Neutral venue
The league and Russian Football Union (RFS), along with representatives from both clubs, agreed that the championship will be decided in a one-off match at 16.00CET on 21 November at the neutral Dinamo stadium in Moscow. A proposal to play the game in Rostov-Na-Donu was rejected.

Shoot-out possible
The play-off became necessary under RFS regulations after both teams finished the regular season with 66 points. If, after 90 minutes, the match is level, there will be 30 minutes of extra time, divided into two 15 minutes halves. If there is still nothing between the sides, a penalty shoot-out will be staged to determine the winners.

Experienced official
FIFA referee Valentin Ivanov is set to take charge of the game, which will be the second play-off for the title in Russian football history. The first one came in 1996, between FC Spartak Moskva and FC Alania Vladikavkaz. Current CSKA coach Valeri Gazzaev was coaching Alania at that time, but his side lost 2-1 to Spartak.

Two play-offs
There were two title play-offs in the old Soviet championship. In 1964, FC Dinamo Tbilisi beat FC Torpedo Moskva 4-1 while in 1970, there were actually two matches. CSKA and FC Dinamo Moskva played out a goalless draw before CSKA won a second game 4-3.

Last updated: 18/11/02 21.25CET

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