Russian youth teams are allowed to participate in UEFA international competitions again. The European Football Union announced this on Tuesday (eXXpress reports). The Executive Committee in Lausanne (Cyprus) gave the green light to the return of Russian junior teams. However, at the same time, a ban on all Russian adult teams was confirmed as long as the war of aggression in Ukraine continues.
UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin said that excluding children from competitions is direct discrimination: “By providing the opportunity to play and compete with their peers from across Europe, we are creating a hopefully smarter and more capable future generation and a better Investing in the future.”
Now a technical solution is being developed to reinstate Russian U17 teams, even if the draws for the tournament have already been made. However, teams will continue to play without the national anthem or flag. Competitions taking place on Russian soil are also still excluded. Meanwhile, the 2024 UEFA Super Cup final between the Champions League winner and the Europa League winner has been awarded to Warsaw.
The Ukrainian Football Association has criticized the European Football Association’s (UEFA) decision to allow Russian youth teams to compete again. In a statement published on Wednesday night, the association called on UEFA to keep in force the complete boycott of all Russian teams from international competitions. The Ukrainian federation announced that it would not continue to participate in competitions with Russian participation.
Kiev said the gradual return of Russian teams to competitions bears out Russia’s aggressive policy amid a spate of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.