“No more words, time for action! Due to the escalation of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the Polish national team does not plan to play a play-off against Russia,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We are in talks with the (Swedish) and Czech federations to present a joint statement to FIFA,” he added.
Poland was scheduled to travel to Moscow to face Russia on Thursday, March 24, while Ukraine was due to travel to face Scotland on the same day.
The winner of the Poland-Russia match will host either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 in the final of the World Cup qualification road.
The Swedish Football Association said on Saturday that its board of directors had decided that the men’s team “will not play a possible play-off against Russia, regardless of where the match is played.”
The statement added that “the Federal Council also urges FIFA to cancel the play-off matches in March in which Russia will participate.”
“We have a hard time believing that FIFA will not carry out our invitation,” the Swedish federation said. “Russia cannot join as long as this madness continues.”
Bayern Munich star and Polish striker Robert Lewandowski echoed Kuleza’s sentiments, saying: “It’s the right decision!
“I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian national team in a situation where armed aggression continues in Ukraine,” Lewandowski wrote on Twitter. “Russian football players and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing happened.”
Other members of the Polish team released joint statements on their social media – one in Polish and one in English – approving of their FA’s decision.
He added, “This is not an easy decision, but there are more important things in life than football. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian nation and our friend from the national team, Thomas Kidziora, who is still in Kiev with his family.”
Sign the statement with the hashtags #SolidarnizUkraina (in solidarity with Ukraine) and #NoWarPlease.
Kidziora is a 27-year-old defender who played for Dynamo Kiev.
“Based on the current worrying development of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, including the security situation, the Polish Football Associations (PZPN), Sweden (SvFF) and the Czech Republic (FAČR) express their firm position that elimination matches qualify for and should not be played. The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to be held on March 24 and 29, 2022 in the territory of the Russian Federation.
“The signatories to this appeal are not considering traveling to Russia and playing football there. The military escalation we are observing has dire consequences and far less safety for our national football teams and delegations.
“Therefore, we expect FIFA and UEFA to react immediately and offer alternative solutions in terms of the venues where the play-off matches can take place.”
The 2022 final was scheduled to be held at the Krestovsky Stadium, which is sponsored by Russia’s state-owned company Gazprom, but it will now be moved to the Stade de France in Paris to be played on the original date of May 28.
Elsewhere, some of Russia’s top athletes have spoken out against the war in Ukraine.
World number one Daniil Medvedev said it was “all for peace” while Andrei Rublev also advocated for peace, writing “No to war please” on camera after the win. Writing on the lens is a common practice after tennis matches.
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