Czech Republic refuses to face Russia in World Cup play-off


The Czech Republic will refuse to face Russia if the two teams have to compete, at the end of March, for a place in the playoffs for the World Cup in Qatar.

The announcement was made by the Czech Football Federation this Sunday (27), following in the footsteps of Poland and Sweden, also involved in the dispute for qualification to the World Cup.

“The Czech national team will not play, in any case, an eventual match against Russia in the playoffs for the World Cup,” wrote the governing body of Czech football in its statement.

Poland, who were due to face the Russians on March 24 in Moscow in the semi-finals of the play-off, and Sweden, who could face Russia on March 29 if they progress from their semi-final against the Czech Republic, announced a decision similar on Saturday (26).

So far, FIFA has not taken action against Russia and has only expressed, on Thursday (24), “concern” about a “tragic and disturbing” situation, according to its president, Gianni Infantino.

Pressure is mounting on the governing body of world football amid reactions and measures announced by other sports federations, clubs and event organizers after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

On Saturday, the Swedish government proposed “a boycott of sports relations” with Russia “for the duration of the invasion of Ukraine”.

Among the most important measures announced in recent days is the one taken by Uefa regarding the venue for this year’s Champions League final. The match would be played in Saint Petersburg and will now be held at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28.

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