UEFA reverses course, keeps Russian youth teams barred from European football tournaments

Russian youth football teams will not be allowed to participate in the qualifying games of the European Championship, Associated Press reports, citing a decision of UEFA.

On February 28, 2022, all football teams from Russia were banned by FIFA and UEFA from international competition due to Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine.

In September 2023, UEFA mentioned the possibility of returning teams from the Russian Federation to youth tournaments. Consequently, this provoked a split in the UEFA executive committee – at least 12 of the 55 European federations said that their teams refuse to play against the teams from the aggressor state.

UEFA's executive committee said today that "the agenda point was withdrawn as no technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found".

On September 27, the Ukrainian Association of Football, in response to UEFA's decision to admit youth teams from the Russian Federation to European competitions, announced that Ukrainian football teams will not participate in tournaments with Russian clubs.

Ukraine appealed to all UEFA member associations to join the boycott of any matches involving Russia.

Football associations of England, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Romania officially announced their participation in such a boycott.

Several other countries – Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Estonia – said they were waiting for an explanation from UEFA regarding its decision.