By Ben Chapman
Published: 26/02/2022- 11:15
Updated: 26/02/2022- 11:23
Trending on GB News
Poland will refuse to play their World Cup play-off fixture against Russia following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Poles were set to square off against Russia in Moscow on March 24 in a World Cup play-off fixture, but Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza confirmed in a statement that his side will not be taking part in the match as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A statement on Twitter reads: “Due to the escalation of the aggression of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine, the Polish national team does not intend to play the play-off match against Russia.
“We are in talks with Swedish and Czech association to present a common position to FIFA”.
Earlier this week, Poland, Sweden, and the FA for the Czech Republic all issued a joint statement stating their intent not to play in Russia, and called on football governing institutions UEFA and FIFA, to provide alternative venues.
The fixture against Russia falls under Plan B of the European qualifiers, with the winners slated to play either Sweden or Czech Republic for a spot in the World Cup in Qatar.
Kulesza’s announcement of the boycott has been backed by the team’s players, including Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. In a response to Kulesza’s tweet, the Forward endorsed the decision to boycott the match against Russia, saying “It is the right decision! I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian National Team in a situation when armed aggression in Ukraine continues.
Russian footballers and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening”.
What we know so far:
- Putin laughs off Macron’s pleas for peace.
- Russian troops are in northern districts of Kyiv.
- Ukraine’s government calls on citizens to make Molotov cocktails and defend city.
- 450 Russian personnel killed in fighting.
- At least 25 civilians killed and 102 injured in airstrikes.
- UK asked to help stop Russia’s assault.