Poland has declined to play its upcoming match against Russia in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying round, after previously requesting that FIFA decide on the fixture amid Russia’s war against Ukraine.
On March 24, a World Cup qualifier will be held at the Dinamo Lev Yashin Stadium in Moscow. According to The Athletic, the Poland FA has confirmed that the national team will not play against Russia due to the country’s continued aggression towards their sovereign neighbors.
During an interview with The Athletic, Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza stated, “No more words, time to act! Due to the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the Poland national team does not intend to play the play-off match against Russia.”
Kulesza described the decision as to the right one and added that he has been in touch with the Swedish and Czech federations to jointly present a common position to FIFA. In the event that Poland had lost to Russia on March 24, either Sweden or the Czech Republic would have played them on March 29.
Poland’s Captain Robert Lewandowski says he ‘can’t imagine playing a match with Russia
Robert Lewandowski, Poland’s captain, and Ballon d’Or 2021 runner-up took to his official Twitter account after finding out about the Polish FA’s decision to comment on the matter.
I can’t imagine playing with the Russian National Team in a situation where armed aggression in Ukraine continues. Lewandowski wrote on Twitter: “Russian footballers and fans aren’t to blame for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening.”.
Lewandowski posted a statement on Twitter earlier on Friday, saying everything beautiful in sport is the exact opposite of what war does while expressing solidarity with those who lost their lives in the war. “As the captain of the national team, I will talk to my teammates about the match with Russia in order to work out a common position on this matter and present it to the president of the Poland Football Association as soon as possible,” the 33-year-old added.