Russia manager reacts to Euro 2024 ban
UEFA confirmed on Tuesday that Russia will not take part in qualification for the tournament
Russian men’s national football team manager Valery Karpin has said he was not surprised by the decision from European governing body UEFA to ban the country from qualifying for the 2024 European Championship, which will be held in Germany.
UEFA confirmed on Tuesday that Russia would not be among those included in the tournament’s qualification draw, which takes place in Frankfurt on October 9. The tournament itself will be held across ten German cities in June and July of 2024.
Along with global football governing body FIFA, UEFA had already imposed a ban on Russian teams from all its competitions at the end of February, following the onset of the military campaign in Ukraine.
“It doesn’t change anything (non-admission to the draw), nothing suggested that we would be back soon,” Karpin told the media on Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.
When asked if he had been “shocked” upon finding out about the decision, Karpin added: “Did we expect anything different?”
“Why deceive yourself? it didn’t. I didn’t talk with the players about this.”
Expressing a glimmer of hope, Karpin noted that UEFA’s sanctions against Russia were imposed “until further notice,” with qualifying for Euro 2024 getting underway in March of next year.
“UEFA said that the decision to remove Russia was made until further notice. It could be, for example, in January,” he told reporters.
Karpin is currently preparing the Russia team for a friendly international against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on Saturday.
The game will be the first for Russia since they played a World Cup qualifying match against Croatia in Split last November.
The subsequent UEFA and FIFA bans meant that Karpin’s team was deprived of the chance to reach the Qatar 2022 World Cup after being removed from their qualifying playoff semifinal against Poland, which had been set for Moscow in March.
Karpin, 53, suggested that players were still motivated despite the news, with further friendly internationals planned against Iran and Bosnia and Herzegovina in November.
“Why shouldn’t there be motivation? Friendly matches are now needed to keep motivation,” said the former Spartak Moscow and Celta Vigo midfielder.
Since the widespread sporting bans imposed on Russian athletes and teams in the wake of an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation on February 28, some figures in Russian sport have suggested that turning away from Western sporting institutions such as UEFA and towards their Asian counterparts could be one option for the country.
“In six months’ time, probably not. In two or three years, maybe,” said Karpin when asked about Russia moving to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
“But I hope for a speedy resolution of the situation within a year,” added Karpin, who also manages club team FC Rostov and took over from Stanislav Cherchesov as Russian national team head coach after the last edition of the European Championship.
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Responding to UEFA’s decision on Tuesday – which came amid pressure from the Ukrainian football authorities and reportedly from ministers inside Euro 2024 hosts Germany – the Russian Football Union (RFU) noted that it still had potential legal avenues available, despite losing an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July.
“The RFU is currently awaiting the full text of the CAS decision, following the study of which a decision will be made on further steps in the framework of legal protection,” the RFU said.