The Czech Football Association announced, on Sunday, its refusal to confront the Czech national team with its Russian counterpart in the European qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, against the background of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, to join its Swedish and Polish counterparts, who made the same decision, Saturday.
And the Czech Federation said in a statement that “the Czech team will not play, whatever it is, a possible match against Russia in the World Cup qualifiers,” in reference to the European supplement that put his country in the second track, where it meets its Swedish counterpart on March 24, with the winner of them facing each other. With Russia or Poland in the final in order to qualify for the Qatar 2022 finals.
However, with the decision also taken by Poland, on Saturday, by its refusal to face Russia, similar to Sweden, which pre-empted the possibility of facing the Russians in the final, the fate of this track of the continental supplement is in jeopardy.
It was scheduled that Russia will host Poland in the face of March 24 and Czech Sweden on the same day, with the winners facing Russia on the 29th of the same month.
The three federations preempted any decision from the International Federation (FIFA) regarding this annex by refusing to confront Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation against neighboring Ukraine, which, on Sunday, entered its fourth day.
Moscow ordered its forces to advance “from all directions”, while the West responded late on Saturday with sanctions seeking to cripple the Russian banking sector. Ukrainian officials said 198 civilians, including three children, had been killed since the Russian invasion began Thursday morning.
After the decision of the Polish and Swedish federations, the president of the Czech federation, Petr Vucic, said on Saturday that he would wait for FIFA’s step before making the final decision regarding his team’s confrontation with Russia, explaining: “In these circumstances, it is almost impossible to imagine that we will play the match, and it is likely that we will follow The steps of Poland and Sweden, but we cannot bypass the procedural steps.”
The three federations issued a consolidated statement, Thursday, asking FIFA to transfer the play-off matches from Russia, which hosted the World Cup four years ago.
It seems that the Czechs made up their minds, on Sunday, and joined Sweden and Poland without waiting for a decision issued by the International Federation, which has not yet taken any measure against Russia, only saying, on Thursday, that its president, Gianni Infantino, was “worried” about the “tragic and frightening” situation. .
“The first match (in the European play-off) is in a month, of course we hope to resolve the issue long before that… But our office can make a decision at any time,” Infantino told a news conference.
In a separate development, the Swedish government said it would try to persuade the other 27 EU countries to impose a blanket sports ban on Russia “as long as the invasion of Ukraine continues”.
The Swedes propose to boycott all competitions hosted by Russia and not allow any Russian athlete to compete on the territory of European Union countries.