|FIFA aims to keep politics out of 2014 World Cup, separates former warring foes in qualifiers|
|June 28, 2011|
ZURICH — FIFA is trying to limit political clashes in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers by separating Russia-Georgia and Armenia-Azerbaijan in the European draw.
The governing body says it honored a request by European soccer authorities to keep the former warring neighbors apart when qualifying groups are drawn July 30 in Rio de Janeiro. The teams were also kept separate in the 2012 European Championship qualifiers.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have no diplomatic relations. They were drawn together in Euro 2008 qualifying but the matches were never played. Russia and Georgia were briefly at war in August 2008.
FIFA says UEFA was the only one of its six continental confederations to make special requests.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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