Poland to boycott World Cup play-off against Russia

Robert Lewandowski is Poland's captain and record goalscorer
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Poland will boycott their World Cup play-off against Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine, with captain Robert Lewandowski saying “we can’t pretend that nothing is happening”.

Polish football association president Cezary Kulesza has said the team “does not intend” to play the game.

Russia are due to host Poland in Moscow on 24 March, while Ukraine travel to Scotland on the same day.

“The right decision,” tweeted Lewandowski.

On Thursday, Fifa said it would monitor the situation after Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic said in a joint statement that play-off matches should not be played in Russia.

“No more words, time to act,” tweeted Kulesza on Saturday.

How else has sport responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

Many sports governing bodies, clubs and players have reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by cancelling or postponing events due to be held in the region.

The 2022 Champions League final will be played in Paris after Uefa – European football’s governing body – moved the match away from St Petersburg

Uefa also ordered Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams to play their home matches away from the region “until further notice”

Uefa is looking to end its major £30m-a-year sponsorship deal with Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom

Russia’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, due to take place in Sochi in September, has been cancelled

International sports federations were urged to move or cancel events currently planned in Russia or Belarus by the International Olympic Committee

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has postponed World Cup 2023 qualifiers involving Netherlands v Russia on 27 February and Great Britain v Belarus on 28 February

Manchester United have terminated their sponsorship deal with Russia’s national airline Aeroflot

On Thursday, football clubs, players and fans showed their support for Ukraine with anti-war T-shirts and banners.

Source: BBC

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