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Poland boycott Russia World Cup play-off game

Poland have ruled out playing their World Cup qualifying soccer match against Russia next month because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine stated the Polish FA on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group G - Poland v Israel - National Stadium Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland - June 10, 2019  Poland's Krzysztof Piatek celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates.   REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Poland will not play a World Cup qualifying soccer match against Russia next month because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the president of Poland's Football Association, Cezary Kulesza, said on Saturday.

Kulesza said the association was in talks with its Swedish and Czech counterparts regarding playoff matches set for March to fill a slot for the World Cup.

"In light of the escalation of the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine, the Polish national team is not going to play a match against Russian Republic," Kulesza said on Twitter.

"This is the only right decision. We are in talks with Swedish and Czech association to present a common position to FIFA."

Russia is due to host Poland in the semi-finals of its strand of the World Cup playoffs on March 24 and, if its team advances, is scheduled to host either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 in the Path B final.

It's also being suggested that both Swedish and Czech FA's are planning on adopting a similar stance prompting FIFA to make a decision on the play-off situation with the global governing body, so far anxious to avoid direct condemnation of Russia.

Lewandowski backs initiative

Shortly after the announcement from the Polish FA, international striker Robert Lewandowski added his voice to the initiative positing in Polish and English he stated: "It is the right decision! I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian National Team in a situation when armed aggression in Ukraine continues. Russian footballers and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening."