Czechs join Poland, Sweden in refusing to play Russia in World Cup qualifiers

AP , Sunday 27 Feb 2022

The Czech Republic joined Poland and Sweden on Sunday in rejecting the to play Russia in the 2022 World Cup qualifying next month in response to that nation's invasion of Ukraine.

File Photo: Czech national team with Estonia in World cup Qualifier on 16 November, 2021. Photo courtesy of Czech national team Twitter.

The Czech soccer association's executive committee said it ``unanimously approved a decision that the Czech national team will not in any case play Russia.''

The soccer federations of Poland and Sweden made the same decision on Saturday.

The Czech Republic is a potential opponent of Russia in next month's playoffs. The winner of the Poland-Russia match is due to host Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 for a place at the World Cup being played in Qatar from Nov. 21-Dec. 18.

The executive committee asked Czech soccer federation head Petr Fousek to lead negotiations with UEFA and FIFA about the Czech position.

``The Czech FA executive committee, staff members and players of the national team agreed it's not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral venue,'' the federation said in a statement. ``We all want the war to end as soon as possible.''

As the attack of Ukraine entered a fourth day on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin temporarily lost his most senior official position in world sports. The International Judo Federation cited ``the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine'' for suspending Putin's honorary president status.

The Russian president is a keen judoka and attended the sport at the 2012 London Olympics.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: