UEFA has decided to shelve a proposal to allow Russia’s under-17 team to participate in European Championship qualifying matches due to logistical challenges. This move comes after UEFA had previously hinted at easing the ban on Russia to allow its male and female youth teams to compete in European competitions. The initial suggestion was based on the belief that children should not be punished for the actions of adults. However, the governing body stated that no technical solution could be found to facilitate Russian teams’ participation.
The announcement by UEFA has caused disappointment among senior football figures in Russia. Vyascheslav Koloskov, honorary president of the Russian Football Union (RFU) and former FIFA vice president, expressed his surprise at the decision and called for the dissolution of the UEFA executive committee. Koloskov believed that overturning the admission decision was impossible and felt that UEFA had become a weak organization susceptible to external influences. Former Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov echoed these sentiments, stating that sports organizations had lost their strength and were easily influenced.
Meanwhile, Russian national team head coach Valery Karpin expressed hope that Russia would be allowed to return to international competition once the conflict in Ukraine comes to an end. Karpin stated that he expects the military operation to end, paving the way for Russia’s participation in international tournaments again. Despite the ban, Russia’s men’s national football team has played eight friendly matches since the sanctions were imposed.
The decision to shelve the proposal allowing Russia’s under-17 team to participate in European Championship qualifying matches has been met with mixed responses from other football federations. About a dozen federations, including England, Ireland, Latvia, and Lithuania, had previously declared that their teams would not participate in matches against Russian teams if UEFA allowed their return to tournaments. These federations firmly stood by their decision, citing the ongoing war in Ukraine as the reason for their stance.
The ban on Russian football teams from major competitions was imposed by UEFA and FIFA in response to Moscow’s military action in Ukraine. The governing bodies deemed it necessary to penalize Russia for its involvement in the conflict. However, the ban has had a significant impact on Russia’s football community, as they have been unable to compete on the international stage. The hope now lies in the resolution of the Ukraine conflict, which would potentially allow Russian teams to participate once again.
In conclusion, UEFA’s decision to shelve the proposal allowing Russia’s under-17 team to participate in European Championship qualifying matches has been met with disappointment and surprise in the Russian football community. Senior figures have criticized UEFA and called for the dissolution of its executive committee, claiming that the organization has become weak and easily influenced. The ban on Russian teams from major competitions continues to be a point of contention, with some federations refusing to play against them until the conflict in Ukraine is resolved. The future involvement of Russian teams in international tournaments rests on the conclusion of the war in Ukraine.