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Multiple European Countries Refusing To Play World Cup Qualifiers In Russia

Multiple European countries said Thursday that they have no desire to play scheduled World Cup qualifiers in Russia next month.

Per a report from Reuters, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic released a joint statement amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Football Associations of Poland (PZPN), Sweden (SvFF) and Czech Republic (FACR) express their firm position that the playoff matches… should not be played in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

As things currently stand, Russia is set to host Poland in the semi-finals of the World Cup qualifiers on March 24. Russia would then host either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29.

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“It’s a possible scenario … spontaneously around the feelings we have as we wake up this morning are that it is almost unthinkable that we in a few weeks would play a football match in Russia,” SvFF chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson told Reuters Thursday. “As it looks here and now, today, there is absolutely no desire to play a football match in Russia.”

ESPN reported Thursday that Saint Petersburg would no longer host the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday, May 28. As relayed by OutKick’s Sam Amico, UEFA released a statement Thursday condemning the Russian invasion against Ukraine.

“UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine,” the statement reads. “As the governing body of European football, UEFA is working tirelessly to develop and promote football according to common European values such as peace and respect for human rights, in the spirit of the Olympic Charter.

“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and stand ready to extend our hand to the Ukrainian people.”


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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. Nick is a life-long sports fan who is proud to say he suffered through 15 years of Bucs futility to witness a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Nick has a passion for writing and is proud to represent OutKick. Follow me on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.

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