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Northern Ireland-Russia World Cup Qualifier Postponed by Weather

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- The World Cup soccer qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Russia was postponed for a second day because of poor weather in Belfast.

The match was first called off last night because of snow and freezing conditions at Windsor Park and rescheduled for 3 p.m. today. Referee Tom Hagen again postponed the game about four hours before the kickoff because of icy areas on the field, according to a statement on the website of world soccer governing body FIFA.

The match will be rescheduled on a later date in the international calendar, FIFA said. Northern Ireland hosts Israel in its next qualifying game on March 26.

Russia has won all four of its qualifiers to lead six-team European Group F with 12 points, nine more than Northern Ireland in fourth place. The group winner qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, with the second-place team entering a playoff.

Heavy snow and sleet has affected today’s soccer schedule across the U.K., postponing games in the lower leagues in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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