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Poland call off Russia World Cup play-off match following Ukraine invasion


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Poland have moved to call off their World Cup play-off game following Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, Polish sources have confirmed.

The Eastern European nation were set to take on Russia in a playoff for qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the match due to take place on March 24th.

However, a statement on Twitter read:

'No more words, time to act! Due to the escalation of the aggression of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine, the Polish national team does not intend to play the play-off match against Russia. This is the only right decision. We are in talks with the 🇸🇪 and 🇨🇿 federations to present a common position to FIFA.'

Lewandowski backs decision

And Poland's most important and well-known player Robert Lewandowski has come out in full support of the decision. Quoting the tweet, the Bayern Munich striker tweeted:

'It is the right decision! I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian National Team in a situation when armed aggression in Ukraine continues. Russian footballers and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening.'

It is unclear quite what this means for the World Cup in November, where one of Poland and Russia will have to be at the tournament. While FIFA has as of yet not condemned the Russians for the actions over Ukraine, it is widely expected that they will be barred from the competition. No decision has been reached yet, however.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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