UEFA, the European football governing body, has reversed its decision to reinstate Russian Under-17 teams in the upcoming Young European Championships.
UEFA declared last month that it was looking into ways to reintegrate Russia’s under-17 teams into the global football system. Following a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, all Russian teams were forbidden from participating in Uefa competitions.
As it attempted to incorporate Russia’s under-17 teams into European events, UEFA maintained that boys and girls should not be penalized for the actions of adults.
However, a number of national football associations, including the Football Association of England, have stated unequivocally that they will not play Russia if they are grouped together in either the men’s championship in Cyprus later this year or the women’s competition in Sweden next year.
Following a barrage of criticism, the organization said that reintegrating Russia’s Under-17 teams would be logistically problematic.
“No technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found,” a Uefa official stated, adding that the “agenda point was withdrawn.”
In addition to excluding Russian teams from participation in continental competitions, Uefa canceled Russia’s hosting rights for the 2022 Champions League final and the 2023 Super Cup, both of which were planned to take place in St. Petersburg and Kazan, respectively. It also ended its sponsorship arrangement with Gazprom, the state-owned energy company.