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Soccer match between Russia and Paraguay canceled in aftermath of Moscow-area concert hall attack

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The Russian men’s national soccer team was scheduled to participate in a friendly international with Paraguay in Moscow early next week, but those plans have been canceled.

The Russian Football Union’s (RFU) decision to cancel the match comes just one day after the deadly mass shooting.

On Friday, Russia’s Federal Security Service said that more than 60 people had been killed in the attack at Crocus City Hall, a music venue, and nearly 150 others had been injured. By Saturday morning, the death toll had soared to at least 133, authorities confirmed.

Russia is currently restricted from competing in FIFA and UEFA competitions due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the country’s soccer team is allowed to compete in friendly games.

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The Russian soccer team defeated Serbia on Thursday in Moscow. The team was slated to match up with Paraguay at Moscow’s VTB Arena on March 25.

The RFU cited the aftermath of the attacks near Moscow in its announcement about the game’s cancelation.

“In connection with the terrorist attack that occurred in Krasnogorsk, the Russian Football Union and the Paraguayan Football Association decided to cancel a friendly match between the national teams of Russia and Paraguay,” the RFU said in a statement.

The RFU, which acts as the governing body of soccer in Russia, added that all other matches in their competitions for the weekend would be postponed. The Russian Culture Ministry also decided to cancel all of the country’s entertainment and large-scale events that had been scheduled for Friday. 

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

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