Saudi Arabia to play pre-World Cup friendly against Italy

Italy will play World Cup qualifiers Saudi Arabia in a friendly in St. Gallen, Switzerland, on May 28, the federation announced on Thursday.

While four-time champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades, Saudi Arabia will play in the tournament for the first time since 2006.

Saudi Arabia will face hosts Russia in the opening match of the World Cup on June 14.

The friendly at Kybunpark Stadium will mark the first time Italy face Saudi Arabia.

Italy then visit France in Nice on June 1 and host Netherlands in Turin three days later.