Russian Premier League rejects calls for game to be played indoors despite fears of -24C temperature

Russian Premier League rejects calls for game to be played indoors despite fears of -24C temperature The Russian Premier League has refused to allow the game between Yenisey and Akhmat Grozny to be played indoors this weekend despite fears the temperature could drop to as low as -24C degrees at the Siberian club’s home stadium.

Yenisey had requested that Saturday’s game be moved indoors from their usual Central Stadium home in the city of Krasnoyarsk, amid forecasts of Arctic temperatures.

The Russian Football Union last week ruled that the match could be played inside at the city’s Manege venue, which ordinarily does not meet Premier League standards.

However, Premier League officials have now overruled that decision, citing broadcasting commitments and saying it would be fined should the venue be changed.

“FC Yenisey did everything possible to hold the game against Akhmat in comfortable conditions for fans, but according to the decision of the Russian Premier League the game will go ahead on December 1 at Central Stadium,” the club tweeted on Monday. 

It added that entrance will be free for fans attending the game at the 15,000-seater venue. 

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 18:00 local time. Temperatures in Krasnoyarsk, which lies on the Yenisei River, 2,000 miles (3,350km) east of Moscow, are forecast to be -16C (3.2F) during the day but plummet to -24C (-11F) at night.

The windchill factor could make it feel as cold as -28C (-18F), according to .  

Russian football regulations state that teams have the right to refuse to play if temperatures are -15C (5F) or below around the time of kick-off, and the league has emphasized that this will be the case on Saturday. 

Earlier this year, Spartak Moscow declined to play a cup game against Krylia Sovetov in Samara just hours before kick-off when temperatures were below the permitted level, despite many fans having made the more than 500-mile trip.   

Last year, CSKA Moscow and SKA Khabarovsk braved temperatures of as low as -20C to meet in the Russian Premier League, although two CSKA players were left with leg fractures.  

Yenisey played matches at their indoor Manege last season when they were in the Russian second tier, but are prevented from doing so under Premier League rules after being promoted.  

They currently sit rock-bottom of the Russian top-tier on nine points from 15 games, but picked up a crucial away win at Dynamo Moscow last weekend. Akhmat are ensconced mid-table with 19 points.

The coldest match in recent Russian football history was reportedly in February 2007, when Sibir faced Spartak Moscow in a cup game in Novosibirsk.

While the match started at -13C, temperatures are said to have plunged to -25C during play.

Thankfully for Yenisey, Saturday’s game is their last at home before the Russian league’s winter break, which lasts until March.