Russia to be excluded from Euro 2024, UEFA confirms
- UEFA is in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2024 to be hosted by Germany
- The governing body has excluded Russia in the Euro 2024 draw to be conducted on October
- UEFA has termed the invasion of Ukraine as the main reason for Russia’s exclusion
Europe’s football governing body UEFA has confirmed Russia will not be included in October’s qualifying draw for the 2024 European Championship.
Russia has been punished by FIFA and UEFA following February’s invasion of Ukraine, with the country’s national teams and clubs exiled from competing in any continental or international matches.
UEFA confirmed Russia’s exclusion ahead of the 2022-23 season that Russian clubs would be excluded from competing in their tournaments this season, although Euro 2024 was not mentioned in the previous update.
However, UEFA has now confirmed Russia will not be among the 53 teams drawn while confirming the procedure for the qualifying draw that will take place on October 9.
“All Russian teams are currently suspended following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee of February 28, 2022 which has further been confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 15, 2022. Russia is therefore not included in the UEFA European Football Championship 2022-24 qualifying draw,” a statement seen by SportsLeo read.
Germany, the hosts of Euro 2024 and automatic qualifiers, will also not be included in next month’s draw, which will produce seven groups of five teams and three groups of six teams.
The 53 participating teams are seeded according to the overall 2022-23 Nations League rankings and divided into seven pots, with the 10 group winners and runners-up qualifying for the tournament.
Playoffs will decide the final three qualification spots for Euro 2024, which is scheduled to begin on June 14, 2024.
Still in the Russian-Ukraine woes, Poland captain Robert Lewandowski will wear the colors of Ukraine at the World Cup in Qatar, after receiving a special armband from Andriy Shevchenko.
The Barcelona striker met Shevchenko at Warsaw’s national stadium to collect the yellow and blue armband, which he will wear at the 2022 Qatar World Cup to represent Ukraine, who failed to qualify.
Ukraine has been ravaged by Russia following February’s invasion, with millions of citizens forced to flee the country and many have travelled to Poland, which has also hosted the Champions League matches of Shakhtar Donetsk this season.
While Ukraine will not play in the World Cup, Lewandowski has pledged to display their colors when he takes to the field in a show of solidarity with those who have been affected by the war, having met Shevchenko with Laureus Sport For Good.
“I will carry the colours of Ukraine to the World Cup. As a player and a man, I support peace and I believe such symbolic gestures matter,” he said.
“I believe that as athletes we should use the power of sport for good. I’m going to take Andriy’s armband with me to the World Cup in November as a reminder that Ukrainian people are not alone and are not forgotten.
“It means a lot to me to stand here with Andriy, a footballer and a man who has used his voice and platform to influence positive change.”
Shevchenko thanked Lewandowski for his pledge, saying: “For me, the captain’s armband is a symbol of leadership, strength and passion for your country. I want to pass this armband to Robert to thank him for his support, voice and platform in supporting my country and calling for peace.”
Poland kick off their World Cup campaign on November 18 against Mexico, then tackling Argentina and Saudi Arabia in Group C.