(Reuters) – Russia were excluded from the qualifying draw for the 2024 European Championship with the national team still banned from all competition until further notice following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, UEFA said on Tuesday.
However, Belarus — which has been a key staging area for the Russian invasion — were included in the draw though UEFA said they cannot be placed in the same group as Ukraine.
Soccer’s global body FIFA and European soccer’s governing body UEFA decided in February that all Russian teams, whether national or club sides, would be suspended from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions after the invasion, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.
In July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed appeals filed by the Russian soccer federation and four Russian clubs against FIFA and UEFA’s decision.
UEFA confirmed Russia would not be involved in the event after its Executive Committee met in Hvar, Croatia and approved the procedure for the qualifying draw, which will take place on Oct. 9 in Frankfurt. Germany will host Euro 2024.
CAS had earlier rejected a request from the Russian soccer federation to freeze FIFA’s suspension, effectively ending its hopes of competing at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)