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’Name or no name’ ... Poland still won’t play Russia in Fifa World Cup qualifiers

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers will commence in March. Picture: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers will commence in March. Picture: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters

Published Feb 27, 2022

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Paris - Poland blasted FIFA's plans for Russia to play home internationals on neutral ground as "totally unacceptable" on Sunday and repeated they will not take on the Russians in a World Cup playoff.

"We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is," tweeted Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza.

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Poland are due to play Russia in Moscow on March 24 in a World Cup play-off.

Earlier Sunday, FIFA responded to the invasion of Ukraine and growing international pressure by telling Russia to play home matches at neutral venues and banning its flag and anthem from matches.

The governing body of world football said Russian teams would play as the "Football Union of Russia".

It said it would continue its dialogue with other sports organisations to determine additional measures "including potential exclusion from competitions".

Meanwhile, England will not play international matches at any level "for the forseeable future" against Russian teams following the invasion of Ukraine, the country's football association said Sunday.

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The decision follows announcements by Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic - all future or potential opponents of Russia in World Cup qualifying - that they will refuse to play Russia at any venue.

The FA's statement read: "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.

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"This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football."

Russia have already qualified for this year's UEFA Women's Euro 2022, which will be hosted by England in July.

AFP

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