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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » March 29, 2012
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Russian Soccer Memorabilia
March 29, 2012   
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Anyone interested in the history of Russian soccer should check out Russian Soccer. Posters and Documents, the latest exhibition at Warsaw’s Museum of Sports and Tourism.

The exhibits come from the Central Museum of Physical Culture and Sport in Moscow. One of the most valuable items on display is the oldest Russian soccer poster, dating back to 1913. Other documents on show at the museum include the earliest set of soccer rules in Russia, Moscow league fixtures and correspondence between soccer clubs and the organizers of matches played at different levels.

An important part of the archives is a collection of letters between Georgiy Duperron (1877-1934), the secretary of the St. Petersburg soccer league, who represented Russia on the International Olympic Committee 1913-1916, and who was the first Russian representative in FIFA (1912-1917).

Soccer was brought to Russia in the 1870s by English workers in St. Petersburg. In the early 20th century, several leagues were established in Russia, first in St. Petersburg in 1901 and then in Moscow in 1909, in Kharkiv, Kiev and the Ural Mountains. The sport became so popular that Russia sent its national team to the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912.

During the Stalin era, soccer in the Soviet Union was partially isolated from the rest of the world. The Soviet soccer federation was not a FIFA member and the Soviet squad was not allowed to play official matches with other national teams. It was not until the Olympic Games in Helsinki (1952) that Soviet soccer made its real international debut.

Until April 6; Museum of Sports and Tourism, John Paul II Olympic Center; 4 Wybrzeże Gdyńskie St.; tel. 22 560-37-80
Warsaw; www.muzeumsportu.waw.pl
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