Home Sports Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic say they will not play World Cup qualifiers in Russia – Fox News

Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic say they will not play World Cup qualifiers in Russia – Fox News

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Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic say they will not play World Cup qualifiers in Russia – Fox News

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The Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic soccer federations announced in a joint statement that they will “not consider traveling to Russia” for the World Cup qualifiers amid Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.
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Children stand next to the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kickoff of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, file)
“Based on the current alarming development in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, including the security situation, the Football Associations of Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic express their firm position that the playoff matches to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, scheduled for 24 and 29 March 2022, should not be played in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the statement read.
Russia and Poland are set to square off in Moscow on March 24 under UEFA’s new World Cup qualifying playoff format, which features three four-team brackets for the continent’s final three World Cup berths in Qatar later this year.
The winner of the Russia-Poland game will take on the winner of the Czech Republic and Sweden for a bid to the World Cup. If Russia defeats Poland, the match against the Czech Republic or Sweden would also take place in Moscow.
IOC CONDEMNS RUSSIA FOR ‘BREACH OF THE OLYMPIC TRUCE’ AFTER INVASION OF UKRAINE
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski waves to the fans after beating Albania, 1-0, in the World Cup 2022 group I qualifying soccer match in Tirana, Albania, on Oct. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)
“The signatories to this appeal do not consider traveling to Russia and playing football matches there. The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations,” the statement continued.
The federations also called for FIFA and UEFA “to present alternative solutions regarding places where these approaching playoff matches could be played.”
FIFA put out a statement saying that it “condemns the use of force by Russia in Ukraine and any type of violence to resolve conflicts. Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to restore peace through constructive dialogue.”
Russia’s Fedor Smolov during the World Cup 2022 group H qualifying soccer match between Cyprus and Russia in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Sept. 4, 2021.  (Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
“FIFA also continues to express our solidarity to the people affected by this conflict,” the statement continued. “Regarding football matters in both Ukraine and Russia, FIFA will continue to monitor the situation and updates in relation to the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers will be communicated in due course.”
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Ukraine will take on Scotland in an elimination World Cup playoff match on March 24. The winner of that game will face the winner of Wales and Austria. Both games for Ukraine would be away from their country.
Dan Canova is a sports reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Daniel.Canova@fox.com and on Twitter: @DanCanova
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2022 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

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