Scotland will not play Russia at any level of football, SFA confirms | Scotland

Scotland will not play Russia at any level of football under the “current circumstances” after the Scottish Football Association supported the stance of their English and Welsh counterparts on Monday. The SFA also extended its support to Ukraine and offered to help their colleagues’ national teams prepare for upcoming matches against Scotland at men’s and women’s levels.

The SFA said that “should the current circumstances continue”, it would not sanction a scheduled August fixture against Russia in the Uefa Regions Cup, a tournament for amateur teams. Scotland are also due to host Ukraine in a World Cup play-off semi-final on 24 March, while the countries are due to meet in a women’s World Cup qualifier on 8 April.

“This will remain our position should any other fixtures arise at any level of international football,” said an SFA statement. “The Scottish FA president, Rod Petrie, has written to his counterpart at the Ukrainian Association of Football to send a message of support, friendship and unity. Football is inconsequential amid conflict, but we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.

“We remain in dialogue with Uefa and Fifa regarding our men’s World Cup play-off and women’s World Cup qualifier and have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues’ preparations as best we can in these unimaginably difficult circumstances.”

The football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic have also said their various teams will not fulfil any fixtures against Russia for the time being. Russia are due to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final and, if they won, would face the winner of the other semi-final between Sweden and the Czech Republic for a place in Qatar.

France, who won the 2018 World Cup in Russia, have also said they supported the expulsion of Russia from international football, with Noël Le Graët – president of the French Football Federation – saying the sport “cannot remain neutral” following the invasion of Ukraine.

Also on Monday, German club Schalke ended their sponsorship agreement with Russian energy firm Gazprom.

Schalke players wore shirts without the logo of main sponsor Gazprom during their 2. Bundesliga match against Karlsruher on Saturday. Photographer: Thomas Niedermuller/Getty Images

It is the latest example of sport clubs and organizations trying to distance themselves from Russian commercial interests, with Uefa also understood to be discussing with its lawyers how to end its own sponsorship deal with the company, which is majority-owned by the Russian state.

“The FC Schalke 04 managing board and supervisory board have come to the agreement to end the club’s partnership with Gazprom prematurely,” read a statement. “The club are currently in discussions with representatives of the current sponsor and further information will be released at a later date.

“This decision does not affect the club’s financial capabilities. The club’s leadership are confident to be able to announce a new partner in the near future.”

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