Uefa Backs Out Of Decision To Readmit Russia U17s

Uefa has abandoned plans to reinstate Russian U17 teams into next year’s youth European Championships.

Last month European football’s governing body announced it was exploring how to reintegrate the Russian youth team into the international setup, having suspended all Russian teams from Uefa competitions following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Now the organisation says that finding a way to reintegrate Russia’s U17 side has proven too difficult logistically.

“No technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found,” a Uefa spokesperson said, who added that the “agenda point was withdrawn”.

Uefa had argued that boys and girls should not be punished for the actions of adults.

But around a dozen national associations, including the English Football Association, publicly expressed their opposition to playing against Russia if drawn against them at either the men’s competition in Cyprus or the women’s in Sweden next year.

“Speaking as an English FA, we made our position very clear 18 months ago – we won’t play Russia in any category age group as long as there is a war,” FA chair Debbie Hewitt said after the executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

“We felt very strong in that. That is a position we retain.”

As well as barring its teams from participating in continental competition, Uefa also revoked Russia’s hosting rights for the 2022 Champions League final and 2023 Super Cup, which were due to be held in Saint Petersburg and Kazan respectively, as well as cancelling the sponsorship contract with state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

Source: BBC

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