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UEFA still sees problems with artificial grass


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Moscow date for Champs Lge final?

MOSCOW, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Moscow is the frontrunner to host the Champions League final in 2006, Russian soccer chief Vyacheslav Koloskov said on Wednesday after meeting UEFA President Lennart Johansson.

Koloskov told reporters that Johansson had promised him and Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in a private meeting this week that the Russian capital could stage the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time.

'Of course, the ultimate decision on where to play the Champions League final lies with the UEFA executive committee,' Koloskov quoted Johansson as saying.

'But I will insist on Moscow's right to be the frontrunner to host the final in 2006.'

Moscow hosted the 1999 UEFA Cup final at the 84,000-seat Luzhniki Olympic Stadium.

However, Koloskov, who also serves on UEFA's executive board, hinted that Luzhniki arena was a long-shot since its natural grass surface was replaced by artificial turf two years ago.

This year's Champions League final will be played in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on May 26.

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