Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara will attend England’s World Cup Semi-Final match tonight and have taken two football-loving children that are fighting cancer.

“I’m going to Moscow for a very important meeting with the Russian President Putin,” tweeted Netanyahu, “President Putin invited us to join him later in the semifinals of the World Cup. We have decided to bring two wonderful children who are fighting cancer: Mika, who my wife has known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents have originated from Russia and is very fond of football.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
“I am now leaving for Moscow for a very important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We will discuss Syria, Iran and Israel’s security needs. I very much appreciate the excellent direct connection, without intermediaries, between myself and the Russian President. It is very important for the national security of the State of Israel.

“After the meeting, my wife and I have been invited to watch the World Cup semi-final match and they told us that we could bring two guests. We decided to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russia and who likes soccer very much. We are very moved that we can realize a dream for them.

“Of course, when they ask me, ‘Prime Minister, who will win?’ I answer you as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister: ‘The better team’. It should be a fascinating game.”

The children – Mika Lipsker, 18, from Katzir, and Alon Eizarayev, 13, from Petah Tikva, who was born in Russia  and will be accompanied by their parents.

The scheduled trip to Moscow is part of an ongoing conversation between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran, and not an “emergency” meeting scheduled to discuss the dramatic situation in southwestern Syria, a diplomatic source said last week.

The match, which will take place at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, will be England’s first World Cup Quarter Final since 1990 having beaten Sweden 2-0 on Saturday. Croatia, who beat hosts Russia, reached the Semi-Final previously in 1998.

This will be Netanyahu’s third visit to Russia to meet Putin since the beginning of the year. He has also, according to Kremlin statements put out since the beginning of the year, spoken with the Russian leader six times on the phone.

Putin invited Netanyahu to Moscow on May 9th to join him at the annual Victory Day Parade marking the victory over Nazi Germany, and the Israeli prime minister also went to Moscow on  29 January when the two leaders went to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow for an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.