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EU nation latest to ban Russia-based footballers

Sweden will not consider players for national team selection if they feature for Russian clubs

The Swedish football authorities have stated that any players from the country who choose to represent clubs in Russia will no longer be considered for selection for the national team.

The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) announced the news in a statement on Tuesday, saying that the decision was set to be confirmed by the organization’s board at a meeting on Thursday.

“For us, it goes without saying that players who choose to play for a Russian club cannot represent Swedish national football teams,” read a quote from SvFF chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson.

Nilsson cited the “unjust war” in Ukraine as being behind the step, indicating the sanctions would last as long as the conflict continues.

“The decision is based partly on our view that Russia should not participate in our sport as long as the war continues and on the suspension of Russian teams by FIFA and UEFA,” said Nilsson.   

“If a Swedish player who is in the national team makes the decision to play in Russia… that player is not eligible to represent Sweden.”

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Normann is set to swap clubs in Russia. © David Fitzgerald / Sportsfile via Getty Images
Football star exiled from national team after opting to stay in Russia

At present, the move is largely symbolic as no Swedish players are on the books at Russian teams, although several stars did leave the country after the onset of the military campaign in Ukraine.

That included the likes of former Krasnodar winger Viktor Claesson, who has made 62 appearances for his country.

Jordan Larsson – son of former Barcelona, Celtic, and Manchester United striker Henrik Larsson – had his contract at Spartak Moscow terminated by mutual consent at the start of the current season.  

The Swedish football authorities’ ice hockey counterparts have already introduced the same measures against players at Russian clubs in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) – as have hockey officials in Latvia and Finland.  

In football terms, Scandinavian neighbors Norway stated earlier in September that midfielder Mathias Normann would no longer be considered for the national team after he opted to remain in Russia at Dynamo Moscow.

Elsewhere in Europe, Polish international defender Maciej Rybus was informed by football bosses in his homeland that he would not be considered for the 2022 World Cup squad after agreeing a deal at Spartak Moscow.  

FIFA and UEFA initially announced a ban on Russian teams from international competitions at all levels at the end of February.  

UEFA has since extended its sanctions to cover at least the 2022/23 season, while the FIFA suspension was imposed indefinitely.  

https://ift.tt/BDu0f5L 13, 2022 at 05:30PM
from RT – Daily news

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