October 11 – UEFA has axed its controversial plan to allow Russian under-17 teams back into its international competitions following a widespread backlash amongst its own member countries.
A string of federations rejected the proposal, announced just days ago, saying they would continue to refuse to play against all Russians teams.
UEFA had argued that youth players should not have to pay the price for the actions of adults in suggesting that Russian U17 teams could be brought back into international tournaments but without their national colours, flag or anthem.
But the decision prompted a split in UEFA’s executive committee and sparked anger not only in Kyiv but also in other countries with around a dozen national associations publicly expressing their opposition to playing against Russia if drawn against them at either the men’s youth competition in Cyprus or the women’s in Sweden next year.
As a result, UEFA, which had suspended Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, now says it is abandoning the idea of a partial re-instatement and removed the item from the agenda of a meeting of its executive committee.
“The agenda point was withdrawn as no technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found,” UEFA said diplomatically with no additional statement from its president, Aleksander Ceferin.
Ukraine’s FA responded by saying it “thanks our European partners for supporting Ukraine.”
FIFA followed in UEFA’s footsteps earlier this month by announcing it too would reinstate Russia’s under-17 teams. FIFA has not yet said whether it will again follow suit.
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