Press "Enter" to skip to content

Football clubs refuse to play Russia in World Cup qualifiers following Ukraine conflict

© Janosch Diggelmann

WARSAW (WNI) — There has been mounting international condemnation this week from the sporting world following Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, with teams and clubs coming together to show their opposition to the conflict.

Poland and Sweden are among the latest national teams to announce they will not play their World Cup match qualifiers against Russia with the current situation in Ukraine.

This follows the cancellation of the Champions League final in St. Petersburg as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Russian sponsors have also been dropped by several clubs and bodies in the past several days.

Shocking images from the Russia-Ukraine conflict have also been met with horror by international observers, with aid agencies deploying staff on the ground to assist Ukrainian refugees.

As of Saturday, it was estimated that over 100,000 refugees from Ukraine had crossed the border into Poland, one of several countries in Eastern Europe helping to assist people fleeing the conflict.

On Saturday, ahead of their Premier League match at Old Trafford in England, Manchester United and Watford joined together and called for peace through the display of a banner. The word ‘peace’ was written in multiple languages.

Beyond the sporting world, other events have also been affected including this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Following the threat of boycotts by several countries, Russia was banned from taking part in this year’s contest.

As the conflict continues, Russia in recent days has faced increasing international opposition to its actions, with urgent calls from world leaders and among Russia’s traditional allies to quickly find a peaceful solution.