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England will not play Russia in international football fixtures 'for the foreseeable future'

England will not play against Russia in any international football fixture “for the foreseeable future” following the invasion of Ukraine, the FA has announced.

A Football Association statement said: “Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, the FA can confirm that we won’t play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future.

“This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football.”

Moments after the FA’s announcement, FIFA outlined its own number of “initial measures”, which are:

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• No international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with “home” matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators
• The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name “Football Union of Russia (RFU)” and not “Russia”
• No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate

It comes after Poland said it would refuse to play an upcoming World Cup play-off match against Russia.

Sweden and the Czech Republic’s football associations followed that by announcing yesterday that their teams would also refuse to play Russia at any venue.

Follow live updates: Ukraine says ‘4,300 Russian troops have been killed or injured’

Soccer Football - Carabao Cup Final - Chelsea v Liverpool - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - February 27, 2022 Liverpool fan with with a Ukraine flag inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
Image:
Liverpool fans show support for Ukraine during Saturday’s League Cup final at Wembley

Sporting sanctions have been coming thick and fast since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday.

The Champions League final has been moved from St Petersburg to Paris by UEFA, which is also under pressure to end sponsorship from Russian energy giant Gazprom.

And Manchester United have dropped Russian state airline Aeroflot as a sponsor.

There have been signs of support for Ukraine at Premier League fixtures over the weekend, with footballers and supporters alike holding flags and banners and displaying messages in solidarity.

Away from football, Formula One cancelled the Russian Grand Prix and the Haas team’s cars were stripped of the logo of Russian sponsor Uralkali in pre-season testing on Friday.

Key developments in the Ukraine crisis:

Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces to be put on high alert
Zelenskyy: Ukraine and Russia to hold talks at Belarus border
Ukraine claims control of key city Kharkiv after fierce clashes

Foreign secretary warns conflict could last ‘years’
BP to offload its stake in state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft

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Protests erupt worldwide against Russia

Ukrainian sports stars have spoken of their intention to join the fight against their country’s invaders.

Former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko is the mayor of Kyiv and has spoken repeatedly about his willingness to stay and defend his homeland, as has his brother Wladimir.

Sergiy Stakhovsky, a recently retired tennis player, told Sky News he is ready to swap a racket for a gun.

And the former Arsenal star Oleh Luzhnyi has vowed to put his football coaching career on hold to fight for Ukraine, telling Sky Sports News: “We need to stand together as one and bring to an end this criminal warfare.”

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