The question of the possible postponement of RPL Matchday 18 to other dates has been put to rest. The head of the league, Alexander Alaev, said that preliminarily all matches will be held on the originally agreed dates.

"The general meeting can postpone the round by a majority vote of the clubs. Further, the decision must be approved by the RFU Executive Committee. We called the teams in the morning. Everyone spoke in favor of playing and deciding on possible postponements within the framework of the current regulations, that is, after the temperature was measured by the chief referee before the game. We will consider each specific case separately. There is a possibility of postponement to 2024," RB Sport quotes the functionary.

At the same time, it is possible that individual meetings will not take place due to severe frosts. An hour before each match, in the presence of the referee, the air temperature will be measured at a height of 1 m above the central circle. If it is below -15 °C, the written consent of both parties will be required for the game to take place. If at least one of the teams refuses to take the field in such weather, the confrontation will not take place.

Earlier, commenting on the CSKA - Rostov match, which took place in conditions of abnormal snowfall, Alaev recalled: the RPL, according to the regulations, simply does not have the right to postpone meetings on its own.

"I will not pit the RFU against the RPL. There is the structure of the system, how it works. Now the system works in such a way that the judge makes a decision. These are his powers," the head of the league explained in a conversation with Sport-Express.

Nevertheless, it is possible that the frost will still force you to change the calendar. Three matches of the final round of the first part of the championship will take place in the south of the country (Akhmat - Rostov, Krasnodar - CSKA and Sochi - Orenburg). The confrontation between Zenit and Nizhny Novgorod is not alarming, given the presence of a roof at the arena in the Northern capital. Finally, in Kaliningrad, where Rubin will come to visit Baltika, the temperature is expected to be near zero.

But Spartak and Lokomotiv will host Krylia Sovetov and Ural in Moscow, where the thermometer is forecast to drop to -20 °C over the weekend.

However, the clubs are optimistic. For example, the head of the press service of the Red-Whites, Dmitry Zelenov, recalled the existing rules.

"The league has already made a decision and there is no reason for further comment. There are regulations. If the referee of the match sees that the temperature has dropped below -15 °C, the written consent of both teams will be required for the match," he told RT.

In turn, the former midfielder of the Red-Whites Alexander Samedov, who is now engaged in selection at Fakel, assured that the club will make every effort to bring the field and the stadium into proper condition for the confrontation with Dynamo.

"The team is preparing as usual. It's all good. I don't know if the league has consulted with the club about this. But since the verdict has been made, then all that remains is to play. There's nothing you can do about it. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this kind of weather. When I was a football player, we held meetings in the snow every year - at the end of November and the beginning of December. There are abnormal weather conditions that we are not able to influence," Samadov said.

Representatives of the teams that will play in relatively comfortable conditions did not support the postponement of the 18th round. Orenburg president Vasily Eremyakin stressed that the players are already in Sochi, and accommodation and flights are fully paid.

"We support the decision to hold the matches on time. The fact is that Orenburg arrived in Sochi, where they will finish the first part of the championship. Trust me, it's warm enough here. People wear T-shirts. I have just talked to the club's sports director Dmitry Andreev," the functionary stressed.

However, according to him, representatives of the teams, the leadership of the league and domestic football officials need to get together and discuss how to prevent the recurrence of such situations in the future.

"We are all strong in hindsight and try to ask questions in response to natural disasters that have already occurred. But it is impossible to foresee this. On the other hand, cold weather in late November and early December is a long-standing problem for RPL teams. When something happens, we start active discussions. We need to think about this in advance," Eremyakin added.

In turn, Akhmat's sports director Ruslan Gazzaev named another disadvantage of scheduling meetings on other dates. By the spring, the line-ups of the teams may change significantly, and they will find themselves in completely different conditions than they are now, which is unfair.

"Everyone has their own interests - someone will want to postpone the tour until the spring, someone has accumulated injuries by the end of the season," the manager was quoted as saying by Championat.

Finally, the chairman of the board of Zenit, Alexander Medvedev, called for acting in accordance with the regulations, which clearly stipulate that the decision to start a particular game is made by the referee.

Unfortunately, holding matches in not the most comfortable conditions has become commonplace for the RPL in recent weeks. In the 16th round, Baltika and Spartak played in Kaliningrad in heavy snowfall. Watching the match was hampered by the fact that the players had to play not with red, but with contrasting balls interspersed with bright colors, which were almost invisible on the TV picture. In addition, the Muscovites wore white uniforms.

A week later, bad weather hit the capital. Despite a powerful snowstorm and an incredible amount of precipitation, the main referee of the CSKA-Rostov game Rafael Shafeev made a verdict that the players can take to the field. The snow did not stop for a minute, and right in the course of the match, the workers were forced to clear it from the sidelines and free throw lines.

Lokomotiv and Zenit were a little more lucky. The pitch in Cherkizovo was placed under a special protective film in advance and was not opened almost until the starting whistle. In addition, the elements have calmed down a little. As a result, the meeting started half an hour later. And if in the first half the pitch was still covered with snow, then in the second half it was in an acceptable condition.

With the sudden arrival of winter, the debate about the expediency of returning the Russian Championship to the spring-autumn system resumed. To some extent, this seems logical. For example, in 2003, the final round took place on November 1. However, later the finish of the national championship shifted further and further in favor of the teams playing in European competitions. And the last season under the same scheme in 2010 ended on November 28.

At the same time, even a change in the calendar will not be a panacea, because fans and teams are not immune to the vagaries of the weather in the warmer months. For example, at the beginning of April last year, Moscow was covered by heavy snowfall, and the game between Lokomotiv and Spartak was in doubt. As a result, its start was postponed by an hour.

And the famous snow derby in 2002 between Spartak and CSKA at the Torpedo stadium named after Eduard Streltsov took place on November 9. At that time, the lawn had to be cleared of snow with the help of trucks.

Of course, you shouldn't play in such conditions now. Therefore, Valery Karpin's emotions after the loss to CSKA are understandable. On the other hand, the quality of fields in the country has improved a lot in 20 years. And in Cherkizovo, the lawn completely coped with the load that fell on it, which was noted even by St. Petersburg residents.

"Did the bad weather affect the result? No. CSKA and Rostov had even worse conditions. And we had them quite good. Moreover, both teams were in an equal situation... You can play, it's okay," said the Blue-White-Sky Blues defender Danylo Krugovoy.

The Railwaymen's forward Artem Dzyuba also spoke quite clearly, noting that the players are "not sugary" and must do their job at any temperature. A similar statement was made by his teammate Nair Tiknziyan.

"Do footballers have to play in bad weather? And why not? We receive a lot of money and are obliged to fulfill our duties - to do it sincerely and with maximum dedication," TASS quoted the midfielder as saying.