'Too fricking right': Minister backs Polish boycott of Russia World Cup match

26 February 2022, 12:00 | Updated: 26 February 2022, 12:08

Minister backs Polish decision to boycott Russia game

By Seán Hickey

The Armed Forces Minister stands by the Poland FA's refusal to play Russia in a World Cup qualifier in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

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Vladimir Putin's troops have been engaged in street fighting across Ukraine as the Russian military have been met with heavy resistance, particularly in the outskirts of Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has remained in the capital to fight alongside his countrymen while calling for a ceasefire.

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Iain Dale spoke to the Armed Forces Minister James Heappey about the UK's contribution to the Ukrainian defence. The conversation turned to the Polish FA's decision to refuse to play against Russia in an upcoming World Cup Qualifier.

"What do you think FIFA should do here? It seems inconceivable to me that FIFA should give Russia a bye to the final", Iain argued.

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"My instinct is, too fricking right Poland won't want to play against Russia with what's going on now immediately over their border", Mr Heappey insisted.

"They are a plucky bunch...they are at the sharp end of Europe's response to what's going on in Ukraine."

"I really hope that FIFA gets its moral compass out and understands that the world's watching", the minister added.

He concluded by telling Iain "if Russia's playing in those finals next year at the expense of Poland taking an entirely correct stance, in my personal view, that would reflect very badly on FIFA."