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Canada Soccer says it will not play Russian clubs

Canada has to support the Ukrainian population
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FIFA and UEFA announced that all Russian teams, whether national representative or club sides, will be barred from both competitions.

Canada Soccer is joining other countries in refusing to play Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

"In steadfast support of Ukraine, its people and Ukrainian-Canadians who represent the third-largest Ukrainian population outside Ukraine and Russia, Canada Soccer, its member associations and clubs will not compete at any level against Russia until sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored," Canada Soccer said in a statement.

"We wholeheartedly condemn the hostile attack on Ukraine by Russia and stand united with Ukrainians here in Canada and around the globe."

Also Friday, FIFA and UEFA — the sport's world and European governing bodies, respectively — announced that all Russian teams, whether national representative or club sides, will be barred from both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice. 

"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both (FIFA and UEFA) presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people," said the joint statement read.

U.S. Soccer and England's Football Association were among the soccer federations in joining Canada in shunning sporting ties with Russia.

"Of course, Canada has to support the Ukrainian population … We are 100 per cent in support of Ukraine," Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis said in an interview. "We will not — and let me repeat — we will not compete at any level against Russia until all the integrity is restored in this conflict."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2022.