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France Say Russia Should Be Expelled From 2022 World Cup

Ryan Sidle

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France Say Russia Should Be Expelled From 2022 World Cup

Featured Image Credit: PA

World Cup champions France have called on Russia to be expelled from this year's tournament, with three countries refusing to face them in the playoffs.

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been condemned by many across the world. although Chelsea were accused of doing a very poor job of it.

Sport has mostly reacted quickly and decisively since Vladimir Putin declared war, with the Champions League final being moved to Paris and Formula One cancelling this year's Russian Grand Prix.

Now FIFA are facing the problem of the World Cup qualifiers for Qatar this winter, with Russia set to play in the playoffs next month.

Now the president of the French Football Association, Noel Le Graet, has called on FIFA to throw Valeri Karpin's side out of qualifying.

"The world of sport, and especially football, cannot remain neutral. I certainly would not oppose the expulsion of Russia," La Graet told Le Parisien.

"In these dramatic circumstances, how can one envisage playing football against this country."

France won the World Cup in Russia. Image: PA Images
France won the World Cup in Russia. Image: PA Images

The call from the French federation comes after Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all said they would not be facing Russia in the playoffs.

After finishing second to Croatia in their group, the 2018 World Cup hosts were due to meet Poland in the first round of the qualifiers in 'Path B.'

The winner of that game was due to face the winner of Sweden vs Czech Republic, but all three sides have refused to face them already, with the first games set for March 24th.

That in essence could mean either FIFA having to take on board France's calls to ban Russia, or allow them to go through to the finals without having to play any matches, which certainly wouldn't go down well.

Russia's 0-0 draw with Croatia at home ultimately cost them an automatic qualification spot. Image: PA Images
Russia's 0-0 draw with Croatia at home ultimately cost them an automatic qualification spot. Image: PA Images

Speaking about the situation, Poland and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski said, "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."

It will be interesting to see what FIFA do, after UEFA moved so quickly with the Champions League final decision.

Topics: Football World Cup, France, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic

Ryan Sidle
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