International soccer teams refuse to play in Moscow; FIFA considers banning Russia from World Cup

The Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden have pulled their participation in the qualifying matches for the World Cup 2022 scheduled for late March in Moscow

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Sports

February 27, 2022 - 10:09 AM

The United States' Weston McKennie (8) celebrates after a 2-0 win against Mexico during a FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/TNS)

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic joined Poland and Sweden on Sunday in refusing to play Russia in the 2022 World Cup qualifying playoffs next month in response to that nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

The head of world champion France’s soccer federation also moved against the Russians, saying Sunday he favored excluding them from the competition.

Russia is scheduled to host Poland in Moscow for a playoff semifinal on March 24, with the winner due to host Sweden or the Czech Republic five days later. The winner on March 29 would advance to the World Cup being played in Qatar from Nov. 21-Dec. 18.

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