England won’t play against Russia for the ‘foreseeable future’ out of solidarity with Ukraine

Earlier on Sunday, the Czech Republic followed Sweden and Poland in announcing they would not play Russia

Ian Parker
Sunday 27 February 2022 20:21
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The Football Association has said England will not play Russia in any fixture for the “foreseeable future” (Mike Egerton/PA)
The Football Association has said England will not play Russia in any fixture for the “foreseeable future” (Mike Egerton/PA)
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The Football Association has announced England will not play against Russia in any international fixture “for the foreseeable future” following the invasion of Ukraine.

A statement on Sunday evening followed announcements by the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – all future or potential opponents of Russia in World Cup qualifying – that they will refuse to play Russia at any venue.

The FA’s statement read: “Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, the FA can confirm that we won’t play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future.

“This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football.”

Following the Football Association’s announcement, FIFA said that Russia will be barred from hosting any international match on home territory, and must play under the banner of the Football Union of Russia without wearing a national flag or playing an anthem.

The world governing body’s statement also said that it remained in dialogue with the International Olympic Committee, UEFA and other bodies on potential additional sanctions “including a potential exclusion from competitions”.

Earlier on Sunday, the Czech Republic followed Sweden and Poland in announcing they would not play Russia.

Poland were due to meet Russia in a World Cup qualifying play-off next month, with the winner advancing to face either Sweden or the Czech Republic.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has condemned Russia’s use of force in Ukraine (Nick Potts/PA)

The refusal of the three nations to play the fixtures effectively leaves FIFA to decide whether or not to grant Russia clear passage to the World Cup finals or bar the nation entirely.

FIFA’s statement added: “With regard to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, FIFA has taken good note of the positions expressed via social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association and has already engaged in dialogue with all of these football associations.

“FIFA will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together.”

Russia have already qualified for this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 which will be hosted by England in July.

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