England Will Not Play Russia In Any Football Fixture 'For The Foreseeable Future'
By Stewart Perrie
The FA has confirmed England will not play Russia in any international football fixture for the 'foreseeable future'.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing crisis in the country has caused England's Football Association to postpone all upcoming matches.
The Association has released a statement, saying: "Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, the FA can confirm that we won't play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future.
"This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football."
England's decision follows similar moves from Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
The Swedish Football Association said they don't care where the game is played, they will not let the men's national team players step onto a pitch alongside Russian players.
The SvFF said via translated text: "The Federal Board also urges FIFA to cancel the play-off matches in March in which Russia participates."
Poland was due to face Russia next month, but the president of Poland's Football Association, Cezary Kulesza, said pulling out of the match was the 'only right decision'.
He tweeted: "No more words, time to act!"
Russia is due to host Poland in the semi-finals of its strand of the World Cup playoffs on 24 March, before taking on either Sweden or the Czech Republic on 29 March, if they progress.
Poland's star striker Robert Lewandowski backed the decision to withdraw from the match.
He tweeted: "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."
Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny added on Instagram: "My wife was born in Ukraine, there is Ukrainian blood running through the veins of my son, part of our family is still in Ukraine, a lot of my workers are Ukrainian and they're all great people.
"Seeing the suffering on their faces and fear for their country makes me realise I can't stand still and pretend that nothing has happened.
Shortly after England's FA announced its decision, FIFA also revealed a raft of sweeping measures against Russia for invading Ukraine.
The 'initial measures' have banned Russia from being able to host any international competitions and 'home' matches will now be placed on 'neutral territory' without spectators.
No flag or anthem belonging to Russia will be permitted to be used during matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate.
Featured Image Credit: AlamyMore like this
- FIFA boss Gianni Infantino calls for Russia and Ukraine to 'ceasefire' for the World Cup
- Nike Will Leave Russia Permanently Amid Invasion Of Ukraine
- The results that will see Gareth Southgate’s England eliminated from the World Cup
- Liverpool fans call on the club to sign England star at "any cost" after sensational performance against Iran