Poland has announced that it will refuse to play its World Cup playoff against Russia after the country invaded Ukraine.
Russia was due to host Poland next month, with the winners facing Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place in the World Cup.
But the president of the Polish Football Association Cesare Kuleza confirmed that Poland has no intention of playing against Russia after its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
wrote on TwitterNo more words, it’s time for action.
“Due to the escalation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the Polish national team does not intend to play a play-off against Russia.
“This is the only correct decision. We are in talks with the Swedish and Czech federations to present a common position to FIFA.”
FIFA is aware of the rising storm and that a decision is urgently needed.
If Russia are expelled, then Slovakia – which finished third in Russia’s qualifying group – or Hungary – which would be the next team in the Nations League rankings – would be more likely to replace them.
Poland issued a joint statement with Sweden and the Czech Republic on Friday confirming that it will not travel to Russia to play.
Although this decision states their intentions not to play the game at all.
Bayern Munich star and Poland captain Robert Lewandowski has revealed his support for the latest announcement, calling it the “right decision”.
He replied to the tweet, saying: Right decision!
“I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian national team in a situation where armed aggression continues in Ukraine.
“Russian football players and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing happened.”
Poland was scheduled to face Russia on March 26 in Moscow.
Elsewhere, Russia was stripped of hosting the Champions League final in Saint Petersburg by invading Ukraine.
The Stade de France from Paris will host the final on May 28 instead.
The F1 Grand Prix scheduled for the Russian city of Sochi in September has also been cancelled.