Czech Republic also refuses to play against Russia in World Cup repechage


The Czech Republic will refuse to face Russia if the two teams had to dispute a place in the Qatar-2022 World Cup in the play-offs at the end of March, as a protest against the invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Football Federation announced on Sunday, following the footsteps of Poland and Sweden.

“The Czech national team will in no case play a possible match against Russia in the play-off for the World Cup,” the Czech Federation wrote in its statement.

Poland, which was due to play the Russians in Moscow on March 24 in the semi-finals of its play-off, and Sweden, which could have faced Russia on March 29 if it got past its semi-final against the Czech Republic, announced a similar decision on Saturday.

Asked on Saturday by AFP, the International Football Federation (FIFA) did not react to the announcements of Poles and Swedes.

So far, FIFA has not taken action against Russia and limited itself on Thursday to expressing “concern” about a “tragic and disturbing” situation, according to its president, Gianni Infantino.

The pressure is intensifying in the world football body, while other sports federations, clubs or event organizers did take action after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

On Saturday, the Swedish government proposed “a boycott of sports relations” with Russia “for the duration of the invasion of Ukraine.”

Among the most important measures announced in recent days is the one taken by UEFA regarding the venue for this year’s Champions League final, which was to be played in Saint Petersburg and will finally take place on May 28 in the Stade de France in Paris.

On Sunday, on the fourth day of the offensive launched against Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the battle for control of Kiev continued in a context marked by a new accentuation of Western pressure against Moscow through the exclusion of banks. Russians from the Swift interbank platform and the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

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