Ukraine’s football teams and federation have declared their boycott of all competitions involving Russian sides following UEFA’s decision to re-admit Russia’s youth team to international competition.
Gatekeepers News reports that the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) strongly condemned UEFA’s decision, emphasizing that it would not participate in any competitions featuring Russian teams.
It also called on other UEFA members to boycott matches against Russian teams.
UEFA had previously banned all Russian teams from competitions in response to Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine but on Tuesday, the European football governing body eased the ban by allowing Russia’s national under-17 team to participate, a decision that has drawn criticism from Ukraine.
“The Ukrainian Association of Football strongly condemns the decision by UEFA to return U-17 teams from Russia to international competitions,” the UAF said in a statement late Tuesday.
“The UAF confirms that it will not take part in any competitions involving Russian teams,” it said.
Announcing the decision, UEFA argued that a “generation of minors” was being deprived of the right to compete, and that children should not be punished for the actions of adults.
However, it said Russian teams would not be able to play on Russian territory, and that the country’s flag, anthem and national playing kit would be barred.
Ukraine has repeatedly called for blanket bans on Russia from international sporting events and has threatened to boycott the 2024 Paris Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes take part.