OREANDA-NEWS  Former Juventus and Barcelona star Miralem Pjanic has confirmed that he holds no ill will towards individual Russian footballers despite his opposition to the recently announced friendly match between the two countries. 

Pjanic and his international teammate Edin Dzeko were the two most prominent names to question the arrangement of the match between Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina set to take place in St. Petersburg in November, one day before the start of the World Cup in Qatar.

The outcry against the proposed match, which included an appeal from the Ukrainian football authorities to FIFA and UEFA to intervene, comes amid ongoing sporting restrictions placed upon Russia, including by football's world and European governing bodies.

However, the sanctions only apply to competitive fixtures, which means that Russia is permitted to partake in friendly matches – such as the one with Bosnia slated for the Gazprom Arena, as well as similar games on the calendar against Iran and Kyrgyzstan

And while the football authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have admitted that they will re-examine their plans to play the game amid international pressure to cancel, Pjanic, who is one of his country's most-capped players in history, says that while he isn't keen to play the match, his quarrel isn't with the Russian players themselves.

“The refusal to play the friendly match against Russia?” Pjanic said in an interview with DAZN in Italy.

“I received the call from the sporting director of the national team and he explained this possibility to me, I said it makes no sense at the moment.

“UEFA and FIFA have put them aside [banned them], the whole world suffers from this situation and we had to be the first to do something like this? Let's not make a bad impression. 

I don't have [anything against] Russian players, but if everyone has chosen to take sides against this president [Putin], we must follow them.”

The football association of Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to clarify if the Balkan nation intends to cancel the fixture, while FIFA told RIA Novosti that it could not yet comment on the matter. 

The Ukrainian Association of Football, meanwhile, issued its own statement in which it called upon FIFA and UEFA to call off the game, and added that Bosnia's taking part in the friendly match would “harm the image of their country.”