England to boycott Russia fixtures amid ongoing Ukraine invasion, FA says

27 February 2022, 18:56 | Updated: 27 February 2022, 20:30

England won&squot;t play Russia in any international fixtures for the "foreseeable future", the FA has announced.
England won't play Russia in any international fixtures for the "foreseeable future", the FA has announced. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

The Football Association says no England team will play Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future out of solidarity with Ukraine.

A Football Association statement said: "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."

The move comes after Poland decided to refuse to play against Russia in an upcoming World Cup Qualifier.

Sweden and the Czech Republic's football associations followed that by announcing yesterday that their teams would also refuse to play Russia at any venue.

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Poland were due to meet Russia in a World Cup qualifying play-off next month, with the winner advancing to face either Sweden or the Czechs.

The refusal of the three nations to play the fixtures effectively leaves world governing body FIFA to decide whether to grant Russia clear passage to the World Cup finals or bar the nation entirely.

FIFA, the world governing body, has also announced Russia must play international matches in neutral countries without supporters.

The country will also have to play under the name "Football Union of Russia" and not as "Russia" under new measures issued in response to the Ukraine crisis.

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FIFA has also ruled that no Russian flag or national anthem can be used.

The governing body had been under pressure to suspend Russia from international competition, but has stopped short of taking such move.

Additional sanctions could include "potential exclusion from competitions", FIFA added.

The statement read: "The bureau of the FIFA council has unanimously decided to take immediate first measures, in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and that will be applicable until further notice:

"No international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with 'home' matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators;

"The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name 'Football Union of Russia (RFU)' and not 'Russia';

"No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate."