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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Marc Mayo

FIFA promise no other Russia teams allowed back into football as Under-17s return confirmed

FIFA have vowed not to let any other Russian teams back into top-level football until the end of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, despite giving the green light to their Under-17s’ return.

The boys’ and girls’ national youth teams representing Russia will be allowed to compete for a place at their respective U17 World Cups, it was announced on Wednesday.

It follows UEFA accepting the U17s back ahead of next year’s European Championship.

Ukraine and England are among the teams to have threatened a boycott against any competition Russian teams have been allowed back into while the invasion remains ongoing.

FIFA said in a statement that Russian players representing their country will, like in the Olympics and other sports such as tennis, not be able to sport their country’s flag.

It read: “Following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee on 26 September 2023 to once again allow the participation of Russian representative youth teams at U-17 girls and boys level, the FIFA Council approved an extension of this decision to the FIFA U-17 World Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup for which UEFA’s competitions serve as a qualification pathway, thus lifting the suspension on teams from Russia taking part in these tournaments.

“This is conditional on these teams playing under the name of the ‘Football Union of Russia’ rather than ‘Russia’, in the absence of their national flag, their national anthem, their national-team kit and equipment, and instead playing in neutral colours.

“The FIFA Council reiterated its condemnation of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine and confirmed that the remaining terms of the decision made on 28 February 2022 remain in force until the end of the conflict.”

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