Russia planning first UEFA event since sanctions – media


A competition for youth development teams is in the works, according to a report

The city of Volgograd will host a UEFA youth development tournament in 2023, according to a report citing the Russian Football Union (RFU). The move could mark a departure from the current sanctions imposed on Russia because of the conflict in Ukraine.

Along with FIFA, UEFA announced a ban for all Russian teams from its competitions at the end of February following a recommendation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

That meant the men’s national team was prevented from attempting to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, while Russia has already been removed from qualification for the UEFA 2024 European Championships.

Russia was also stripped of the right to host the 2022 UEFA Champions League final in St. Petersburg in May.

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The Russian national team has been sidelined from major tournaments.
Talk of Russian switch to Asia ‘justified’ – football official

Amid the sanctions, the RFU has floated the idea of switching from UEFA to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which was due to be discussed at a meeting in Moscow on Friday.

But citing sources in the RFU and UEFA, Russian outlet RBK has reported that a potential “easing” of sanctions could happen, even if discussions were unofficial.

“In May 2023, it is planned to hold an international UEFA development tournament for youth national teams in Volgograd. Arrangements to hold the tournament were reached with UEFA a few months ago,” a representative from the RFU press service was quoted as saying.

RBK Sport said that the development tournaments will be held for boys and girls under 16 years of age, describing the step as having “positive momentum.”

Regarding a possible switch to Asia from UEFA, RBK sources said there was “no unity” on the topic in the executive committee of the RFU.

“Even if the RFU decides to do this, the transition will take more than one month. But first you need to find unity within the RFU. To date, there is no such unity,” the outlet reported.

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Russia’s Magomed Ozdoev pictured at UEFA Euro 2020 in St. Petersburg.
UEFA opposed to potential Russian exit – media

According to fellow sports outlet Championat, UEFA appears reluctant to see Russia change allegiances.

“Despite the current situation, UEFA does not want to lose Russia’s membership in its organization,” Championat reported a source as saying on Friday.

“UEFA is in favor of a variant in which, after the tension of the geopolitical situation is reduced, Russian football will begin to integrate into European football again.

“For UEFA, the loss of such a country will be a big reputational blow, even under the current situation,” the outlet added.

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