The Albanian government joins the wave of European opposition to play any sport against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
The move was significant because Albania is one of the few national teams in men’s football to play in the official competition against Russia soon.
Albania is set to host Russia in the group stage of the UEFA Nations League on June 2 in Tirana. The return game is June 13, although UEFA ruled on Friday that Russian teams must find a neutral venue for its home games.
“Albania will not take part in any games with the Russian Federation until the occupation of Ukraine ends,” Foreign Minister Olta Zakka said on Sunday.
Iceland and Israel also drew in the same group in the second tier of the League of Nations. Those leagues didn’t express their situation on the Russia game.
The Polish Football Federation has refused to play Russia in the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 24 in Moscow. The game, coordinated by FIFA, which said in Sunday that the Russian group could play in a nonpartisan scene, should be named “RFU” for its soccer league and can’t
Russia-Poland winners Qatar were due to host Sweden or the Czech Republic five days later for a place in the World Cup. Russia also refused to play those two potential opponents.