The Czech Football Federation has joined its Polish and Swedish counterparts in boycotting a possible Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying final against Russia in Moscow.
The Czech FA made its announcement on Sunday morning, saying it wanted an end to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. “as soon as possible”.
“The Czech FA Executive Committee, staff members and players of the national team have agreed that it is not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral ground. “, he added. It said.
“The Czech FA Executive Committee, staff members and national team players have agreed that it is not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral ground. We all want the war to end as soon as possible.” pic.twitter.com/NQK6YGNoHJ
— Czech national football team (@cekarepre_eng) February 27, 2022
The Czech Republic are set to face Sweden in Stockholm in a Qatar 2022 qualifying semi-final on March 24.
Poland were due to travel to play against Russia on the same date in Moscow, where the winners of each match were drawn to play each other five days later.
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic initially sent a letter earlier this week urging UEFA and FIFA to move matches in Russia to neutral venues.
UEFA had already scheduled an extraordinary general meeting which decided that the Champions League final in May would move from Saint Petersburg to Paris and ordered Russian teams to play in neutral venues.
Now, all three teams want current and potential fixtures with Russia canceled. The Polish chiefs first announced their stance through FA chief Czarek Kulesza, who received backing from his country’s president, Andrzej Duda, and team captain, Robert Lewandowski, after publicly declared on Saturday morning that his team would not complete its semi-final with Russia.
The Swedish FA followed suit later in the day in a statement containing support from national sports minister Anders Ygeman.
“As long as Russian aggression continues, I want the EU to decide that we should not participate in Russian events and that we should exclude Russian professional practitioners from participating in events in other countries,” he said. -he adds. Ygeman remarked in a statement.
In the same correspondence, Swedish FA President Karl-Erik Nilsson pointed out that the “The illegal and deeply unjust invasion of Ukraine currently makes all football exchanges with Russia impossible”.
“We therefore urge FIFA to decide that the March qualifiers in which Russia are participating will be cancelled. But no matter what FIFA chooses to do, we will not play against Russia in March,” he added. he added.
“We find it hard to believe that FIFA will not follow our call. Russia cannot join us as long as this madness continues.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said football’s world governing body would continue to monitor the situation.
“We will soon provide an update on the World Cup qualifiers,” Infantino swore. “We can make decisions immediately, whenever necessary.”
With Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic effectively boycotting all matches involving Russia, some of the decisions Infantino might have planned to announce seem to have been made for him.