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Poland will not play Russia in FIFA World Cup qualifier, says country’s football association president

Poland will not play its 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Russia next month because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the president of the country;s Football Association, Cezary Kulesza, said on Saturday.

Kulesza said the association was in talks with its counterparts in Sweden and Czech Republic counterparts regarding playoff matches set for March to fill a slot for the World Cup.

“In light of the escalation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the Polish national team is not going to play a match against Russian Republic,” Kulesza said on Twitter.

“This is the only right decision. We are in talks with Swedish and Czech association to present a common position to FIFA.”

Russia are scheduled to host Poland in the semi-finals of their strand of the World Cup playoffs on March 24 and, if the team advances, are scheduled to host either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 in the Path B final. 

Earlier, the UEFA relocated the final of this season’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg in Russia to the Stade de France near Paris. It, however, stopped short of kicking Russia out of the World Cup qualifiers, which means that the team is still included alongside Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland in Path B of the European play-offs. 

Meanwhile, Formula One announced on Friday that it would be “impossible” to hold the Russian Grand Prix following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The official Twitter account of F1 Media confirmed the development.

“The FIA Formula 1 World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” the statement began.

“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation.

“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”

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