FIFA separates political rivals

FIFA says it will limit potential political issues in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers by separating Russia and Georgia, plus Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the European draw.

FIFA says it will act on UEFA's request to keep the former warring neighbours apart when qualifying groups are drawn on 30 July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The teams were also kept separate in UEFA's 2012 European championship qualifiers.

Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have no diplomatic relations, were drawn together in Euro 2008 qualifying but the matches were never played. The countries are in dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

Russia and Georgia briefly were at war in August 2008.

FIFA says UEFA was the only one of its six continental confederations to make special requests.

Source AP