Skip to main content

U.S. Soccer Won’t Compete Against Russia Amid Invasion of Ukraine

U.S. Soccer joined the growing list of federations around the world stating it would not compete against Russia in any competition, with USSF denouncing the nation’s "heinous and inhumane" invasion of Ukraine in a statement Monday. 

“The U.S. Soccer Federation stands united with the people of Ukraine and is unequivocal in our denunciation of the heinous and inhumane invasion by Russia,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “We will neither tarnish our global game, nor dishonor Ukraine, by taking the same field as Russia, no matter the level of competition or circumstance, until freedom and peace have been restored.”

Monday’s announcement comes after the soccer federations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic each announced they will not play Russia in the 2022 World Cup qualifying next month. The four are in one of UEFA's three brackets to determine the region's final three berths at the World Cup. 

“The Czech FA executive committee, staff members and players of the national team agreed it’s not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral venue,” the Czech soccer association’s executive committee said in a statement. “We all want the war to end as soon as possible.”

England, Scotland and Ireland have also released similar statements in recent days, and Canada followed suit on Monday, as the global soccer community rallies around the Ukrainian people. As for U.S. Soccer, its decision could potentially come into play sooner than later in a competition that doesn't involve the senior men’s and women’s national teams.

After FIFA announced Sunday that Russian teams will no longer be allowed to host games (they must play at neutral sites without fans, a flag or performing of the national anthem) and go by the name ‘Football Union of Russia’ (RFU), it took things a step further on Monday. FIFA and UEFA jointly banned Russian teams—club and country—from all competitions in their purview.

The 2022 UEFA Champions League final has been moved from St. Petersburg due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The game will now be held in Paris this May instead. 

More Soccer Coverage: 

• USMNT Walks the Injury Tightrope
• 22 Reasons to Watch MLS in 2022
• Fine Margins—and a 120th-Minute Goalkeeper Substitution—Decide League Cup Final