October 11, 2023

UEFA Ditch Plans to Reinstate Russia’s U-17 Teams

UEFA announced on Tuesday, 10 October, that plans to reintegrate Russia’s under-17 teams into next year’s youth European Championships have been scrubbed.

The European football governing body faced significant backlash from fans and clubs alike when it announced that it had considered allowing the junior teams to return to the international competition.

A spokesperson for UEFA told an international publication on the same day that “the agenda point was withdrawn as no technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, all Russian teams were suspended from UEFA competitions in an act of solidarity with Ukraine. UEFA argued that teenagers and children should not be held responsible for the actions of adults.

However, out of UEFA’s 55 member federations, at least a dozen said that their teams would refuse to play against Russian representatives if they were drawn against each other in the qualifying matches for the 2024 tournament.

“We thank our European partners for supporting Ukraine,” said Ukraine’s football association in an official statement after the decision was announced, before adding: “Russian football remains isolated, that is where it belongs.”

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