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Ukraine to boycott UEFA football competitions involving Russia

by Martin Fornusek September 27, 2023 2:27 PM 1 min read
A Ukraine 'Football stands together' flag is seen prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium on Aug. 26, 2023. in London, England. (Photo credit: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
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The Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) condemned on Sept. 26 the decision by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to return Russia's U17 teams to international competitions and said Ukraine would boycott games involving Russia.

UAF called for preserving the previous decision by UEFA and the International Association Football Federation (FIFA) not to allow the participation of Russian teams in international matches.

Russian teams have been barred from all UEFA's events after Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

On Sept. 26, UEFA announced it would ease its restrictions and enable Russian U17 teams – comprised of players younger than 18 – to take part in European games.

"UEFA is also aware that children should not be punished for actions whose responsibility lies exclusively with adults and is firmly convinced that football should never give up sending messages of peace and hope," the organization said in its press statement.

UAF appealed to other UEFA members to boycott all possible matches involving Russian teams.

The Ukrainian organization commented that the decision on Russia's return "in the midst of hostilities conducted by the Russian Federation against Ukraine is groundless and such that it tolerates Russia's aggressive policy."

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