Ukrainian Football Federation Refuses to Participate in Competitions with Russian Teams
The Ukrainian Football Federation (UAF) has announced that it will no longer participate in football competitions that involve Russian teams. This decision comes in response to UEFA’s recent readmission of the Russian Federation’s under-17 teams into European tournaments.
In a strongly worded statement released on Wednesday, the UAF condemned UEFA’s decision and called for other football bodies to follow suit. The UAF insisted on maintaining the previous decisions made by UEFA and FIFA to prevent all Russian teams from participating in international competitions.
Moreover, the UAF has urged other UEFA member associations to boycott matches with Russian teams, should they be allowed to participate in the future. The UAF believes that such a move would demonstrate a united front against Russia’s aggressive policies towards Ukraine.
The English Football Association (FA) has also expressed its refusal to play against Russia. In a statement to CNN, the FA made it clear that they do not support the reinstatement of Russian teams in UEFA age group competitions. They firmly stated that English teams will not compete against Russian teams.
Both the UAF and the FA have called on UEFA to reconsider its decision and maintain the previous stance of completely excluding Russian teams from international competitions.
In response, UEFA acknowledged that children should not suffer punishment for the actions of adults and emphasized its belief in promoting messages of peace and hope through football. They expressed regret over the fact that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has deprived a generation of young players of their right to compete in international football.
UEFA plans to implement the changes throughout the season, with the Russian under-17 men’s and women’s teams set to join European tournaments next year. However, there are certain conditions attached to the reintroduction of the Russian teams. Matches will be played without the Russian flag, national anthem, national team kits, or on Russian territory.
Despite this decision, UEFA reiterated its condemnation of Russia’s illegal war and confirmed that the suspension of all other Russian national teams, including clubs and senior national teams, will remain in effect until the end of the conflict in Ukraine.
The stance taken by the UAF and the FA reflects the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. It remains to be seen whether other football associations will join in the boycott and exert further pressure on UEFA to revisit its decision regarding Russian teams’ participation in youth competitions.