Robert Lewandowski has reacted to the invasion of Ukraine, as the Polish FA opted to boycott the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Russia.
The Poland FA has doubled down on its efforts to boycott the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. As tweeted by journalist Derek Rae, Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza has put out strong words against the Russian Federation, with captain Robert Lewandowski also criticising the eastern European giants.
“No more words,” said Kulesza, whose voice was backed up by the country’s star player and national team captain Robert Lewandowski. “Time to act. Due to the escalation of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Polish FA does not intend to participate in the playoff against Russia. That is the only correct decision,”
“The right decision,” agreed Lewandowski, who was seen wearing a Ukraine armband in Bayern Munich’s recent 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. “I can’t imagine playing against the Russian national team in a situation when the armed aggression in Ukraine continues. Russian players & fans are not responsible but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening,”
Poland finished second in their World Cup qualifying group, just two points ahead of third-placed Albania. They were subsequently drawn against Russia in the semi-final of Pool B of the qualifying playoffs. They are currently working with other teams in the pool in the Czech Republic and Sweden to urge FIFA to come to a unified resolution.
The head of the Polish FA has said his country will *refuse* to play against Russia in upcoming World Cup qualifier next month. “This is the only right decision,” said FA chief Cezary Kulesza. FIFA are going to have to make a decision. (@jwhitey98) https://t.co/xkBHxhXDaE
— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) February 26, 2022
The three nations even put out a joint statement on Thursday, saying they have no intention of facing Russia in Path B of the qualifying playoffs. While the Czech Republic and Sweden won’t directly face Russia like Poland, the winner of their semi-final encounter may have to face the nation in the final.
FIFA are yet to comment on the issue, but they are actively trying to find a solution for all parties, including the Scottish FA, who are expected to face Ukraine in Kyiv in the qualifying playoff. The venue of the second leg could potentially be relocated as the country faces a military onslaught from Russia.
Poland have found themselves engulfed in the situation after opening their borders for Ukrainian refugees. While Lewandowski has maintained that Russian footballers have no involvement in the ongoing geopolitical situation, the country remains keen on boycotting Russia from the World Cup qualifiers, and it will be interesting to see how the governing body approaches the issue.
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