Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic refuse to participate in the World Cup qualifiers in Russia

Zurich: Football federations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic demanded Thursday that Russia be banned from hosting World Cup qualifiers next month following the invasion of Ukraine. Russia are preparing to host Poland in the World Cup qualifying semi-finals on March 24 and, if their side progress, they will host Sweden or the Czech Republic in the final on March 29. “The associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic are expressing their firm position on qualifying matches and should not be played on Russian soil,” said the associations. in a joint declaration. “The military escalation we are seeing has serious consequences and less security for our national teams and official delegations.” The trio called on the International Federation (FIFA) and the European Federation (UEFA) to intervene immediately and provide alternative solutions regarding the locations of the playoffs. FIFA said it was monitoring the situation and would announce the developments regarding the qualifiers in due course. “FIFA condemns Russia’s use of force in Ukraine and any form of violence to resolve disputes, “he said in a note. Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to bring back the pace through constructive dialogue. ”Swedish Football Association president Karl-Erik Nilsson told Reuters Thursday that a qualifying match in Russia was “unthinkable”. “As it seems now, there is absolutely no desire to play a football match in Russia, “he added. Russia will also host the Champions League final questyear and UEFA has called an emergency meeting of its executive committee on Friday to move the game from St Petersburg. (Reuters)

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