Since the onset of the war, Russia has been largely excluded from participating in sports across most of the world. However, for reasons that remain unclear, UEFA recently decided to allow Russia's U17 team to compete in the European Championship qualifiers.
Now, several nations have announced their refusal to play against Russia, with Romania being the latest to join the list.
The Romanian Football Federation has officially decided not to participate in any football matches involving Russian national teams.
In a statement, the federation said it understands the arguments put forward by UEFA's Executive Committee but believes that "under no circumstances should children suffer from the reckless actions of a state authority."
Romania further emphasized that sports cannot be separated from the legal, institutional, and economic values that have transformed Europe into a space of peace, freedom, and economic prosperity.
UEFA's Controversial Decision
UEFA had unexpectedly decided to allow the Russian U-17 national team back into international competitions. The organization stated that "children should not be punished for actions for which only adults are responsible, and football should never cease to send messages of peace and hope."
This decision has been met with widespread criticism, especially since UEFA President Čeferin had previously assured that officials "cannot even discuss" the return of Russian teams to the international stage.
What are your thoughts on UEFA's controversial decision to allow Russia's U17 team back into international competitions?