October 6, 2022

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Poland unhappy at FIFA’s decision not to kick Russia out

2 min read

Russia must play international matches in neutral countries without supporters, world governing body FIFA has announced.

The country will also have to play under the name ‘Football Union of Russia’ and not as ‘Russia’ under new measures issued in response to the Ukraine crisis.

FIFA has also ruled that no Russian flag or national anthem can be used at matches.

Russia is due to participate in the World Cup qualifying play-offs next month but first opponents Poland and the sides they could face in the next round, Sweden and the Czech Republic, have already refused to play against them.

FIFA had faced calls to ban Russia from the competition altogether but, while it has stopped short of that on this occasion, it said in a statement “potential exclusion” remained an option.

But Poland blasted FIFA’s plans for Russia to play home internationals on neutral ground as “totally unacceptable” on Sunday and repeated they will not take on the Russians in a World Cup play-off.

“We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is,” tweeted Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza.

The news comes on a day when the English FA also announced that it would 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.”

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