To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
Sweden have joined Poland in refusing to play Russia in the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Earlier this week, Poland announced they would boycott their play-off 'Path B' semi-final against Russia on March 24, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sweden are due to face the Czech Republic in the other semi-final but have now confirmed they won’t play Russia if the two teams meet in the final on March 29.
A statement released by the Swedish FA read: “The men's national team will not play against Russia - regardless of where the match is played.
“The Federal Board also urges FIFA to cancel the play-off matches in March in which Russia participates.”
Swedish FA chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson added: “The illegal and deeply unjust invasion of Ukraine currently makes all football exchanges with Russia impossible.
“We therefore urge FIFA to decide that the playoff matches in March in which Russia participates will be cancelled.
“But regardless of what FIFA chooses to do, we will not play against Russia in March.
“We have a hard time believing that FIFA will not follow our call. Russia cannot join as long as this madness continues.”
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. https://t.co/rfnfbXzdjF— Robert Lewandowski (@lewy_official) February 26, 2022
Poland captain Robert Lewandowski has praised his country’s decision to boycott their match against Russia.
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.”