The opportunity to play a World Cup qualifier in Moscow next month is “unthinkable?”, Says the Swedish Football Association.
Karl-Erik Nilsson, chairman of the Swedish Football Association, says that it would be “unthinkable” for Sweden to play a World Cup qualifier in Russia next month given the special military operation that Russian President Vladimir Putin began overnight.
Sweden will play against the Czech Republic in a month, and the winner of that match will take on the winner of the knockout match between Russia and Poland
But before the prospect of a decisive match against Russia, Nilsson says that it would be unfathomable to travel to Moscow in a sporting context.
“The world situation is completely different today and all thoughts go to Ukraine and the many friends we have there.” in Nilssonvia translation.
“As the situation is today, it feels impossible to imagine that in a few weeks we will possibly play a match in Russia.
“We are waiting for information from international and national authorities and for dialogue with FIFA and UEFA on the issue. We must follow developments day by day, but right now it feels unthinkable.”
Nilsson’s comments come after UEFA chief Alexander Ceferin called for an extra meeting on Friday, where it is expected that a proposal to remove the Champions League final 2022 from St. Petersburg will be formally discussed.
UEFA said that the situation between Russia and Ukraine will be discussed at the high-level meeting in the middle of reports that the Champions League final may be moved.
The comments from the Swedish football hierarchy follow comments from earlier this week where Poland’s Minister of Sports Bortniczuk called for Poland’s upcoming match in Moscow to be moved to a neutral location.
“We will try to play this match on a neutral level [the initiative] is not approved, we should think about what to do. I think that Polish athletes in such a situation should not go to Russia, but this is my personal opinion, says Bortniczuk. told Polish radio.
“I do not think that the world of sports should in any way agree with Vladimir Putin’s practice,” he said.
The Polish Football Association added in a statement: “Due to the tense political situation in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, as well as the possible outbreak of an armed conflict, the Polish Football Association turned to FIFA with a request to immediately clarify issues related to the organization. of the match against Russia in Moscow. “
However, RFU rejected the calls from its Polish counterparts on Tuesday.
“In accordance with the calendar approved by UEFA, the Russian Football Federation continues to prepare for the match with Poland on March 24 at the Dynamo Stadium in Moscow,” it said.