England will not play against Russia for ‘foreseeable future’ due to invasion of Ukraine, FA confirms

England will not play Russia in football matches at any level “for the foreseeable future”, the FA has confirmed.

The decision has been made “out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership”, the FA said in a statement.

It indicates England will refuse to play Russia in both the World Cup in Qatar and the Women’s Euros this summer, should the sides be drawn against each other.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday it was “inconceivable” normal sporting relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia can continue following the invasion of Ukraine.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday it is inconceivable normal sporting relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia can continue following the invasion of Ukraine

FIFA has also warned Russia they will be banned from all international football if the war does not stop.

Following a meeting of the FIFA Council on Sunday, it was confirmed:

  • Russia cannot play any FIFA matches in Russia
  • Russia cannot call itself Russia and will be called ‘Football Union of Russia’
  • No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate
  • Next step is to ban Russia from competitions “should the situation not be improving rapidly”

A statement read: “FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and other sport organisations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly.”

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Poland calls on FIFA to ban Russia from World Cup

FIFA also said it “will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together” after Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic all refused to play their World Cup play-offs with Russia in opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

Poland are due to play in Russia on March 25, with the winner facing Sweden or the Czech Republic four days later for a place in the finals in Qatar in November.

Following FIFA’s statement the Polish FA once again insisted they would refuse to play against Russia “regardless of the name of the team consisting of Russian footballers and the place of the match”.

They called on FIFA to ban Russia from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

A statement from the Polish FA read: “In the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was condemned almost all over the world, this is the only decision we can make.

“A performance in a match against the Russian national team would be a shameful act not just for our players but for the entire football community, contrary to solidarity with the Ukrainian nation. As football association, we refuse to participate in play-off matches in which the Russian national team appears.

“At the same time, we call on the FIFA authorities to react immediately to the brutal violence that we observe daily on the territory of independent Ukraine. If FIFA’s Human Rights Policy is more than just words on a paper now is the time to put it into practice by excluding the Russian Football Association from the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.”

The Swedish Football Association has also been quick to condemn FIFA’s decision.

“It is clear that we are not satisfied with this,” Swedish FA president Karl-Erik Nilsson told Fotbollskanalen.

“Our opinion is not different today and the situation has not changed in Ukraine just because we have received the message from FIFA, so we have no other opinion today.

“We also want to talk to Poland and the Czech Republic so that we can give back to FIFA what we think, but we had expected a sharper stance from FIFA. We would have done so.”

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