The war continues even in the European football authorities. Ukraine announced on Wednesday that it will boycott European football competitions in which Russian teams will participate. This decision by the Ukrainian Federation (AUF) comes a day after UEFA's decision to reinstate Russian under-17 teams in its competitions.
The AUF "confirms that it will not take part in any competition in which Russian teams participate", and urges UEFA to "reverse its decision", which it "strongly condemns", it is written on a statement published on the website of this federation. It also asks other countries to "boycott possible matches involving Russian teams, if they are admitted".
Without flag, anthem, or outfit?
UEFA announced on Tuesday that it had decided, in agreement with the International Federation (FIFA), to reinstate the U-17 teams because "children should not be punished for acts for which the responsibility lies exclusively with adults". The executive committee of the European body had considered that it was "particularly regrettable that because of the persistence of the conflict, a generation of underage players is deprived of its right to play in international football competitions".
! !️ UAF strongly condemns UEFA decision on the return of U-17 teams from the russian federation to international competition
UAF confirms that we will not take part in any competitions with the participation of russian teams. pic.twitter.com/kULp7c7yqw
— Ukrainian Association of Football (@uafukraine) September 27, 2023
However, the matches of Russian teams will have to be played "without the Russian flag, anthem and official uniforms", "and outside Russian territory", UEFA had said. The body also reiterated its "condemnation of the illegal war waged by Russia", assuring that the suspensions of all other teams in the country would remain in force "until the end of the conflict in Ukraine".
Until Tuesday's decision, the Russians were excluded from all international football competitions, both club and national, since the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops in February 2022, a decision taken jointly by UEFA and Fifa.