Connect with us


England refuse to face Russian junior teams despite UEFA reintroduction

England refuse to face Russian junior teams despite UEFA reintroduction

England will refuse to play any junior Russian national teams despite the recent decision from UEFA to readmit the country’s under-17 sides into European competition this season, as reported by The Times.

The move comes after UEFA had initially banned all Russian teams from European competitions due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

UEFA’s executive committee opted for a partial reintegration of Russian international football, primarily at the youth level, which includes under-17 boys and girls teams. 

The decision has sparked conversations about potentially reinstating the Russian U17 teams into European tournaments even after the draws have taken place.

UEFA claims ‘children should not be punished for actions whose responsibility lies exclusively with adults’ but have stipulated certain conditions Russian teams must adhere to.

In order to be allowed to compete at the international level again, they won’t be permitted to display the country flag, anthem, national playing kit or play on their home territory.

Despite the latest development, the English Football Association (FA) remains unwavering in its stance, firmly expressing that none of its teams, junior or senior, will participate in matches against national sides representing Russia.

In an official statement, the English FA criticised the decision to readmit Russian national teams. 

“We do not support the position of readmitting Russia to UEFA Age Grade Competitions, and our position remains that England teams won’t play against Russia,” the statement read.

UEFA’s decision coincided with a Women’s Nations League game held in Armenia, which marked the first European fixture officiated by Russian match officials since the Ukraine invasion. 

Travel challenges for Russian citizens, including visa difficulties and limited flight options, have contributed to UEFA’s reluctance to appoint referees from Russia.

The exact venues for Russian youth teams to play in international competitions now remain uncertain, given these unique circumstances.

While Russian referees were not explicitly banned by UEFA, their selection had been postponed until recently when Vera Opeykina and three assistants were chosen to officiate the Armenia versus Kazakhstan game.

More in England