President of the European Football Union (UEFA) Aleksander Ceferin commented on the organization's decision to return Russian teams in the U-17 age category to international competitions.

The head of UEFA cynically stated that depriving Russian children's teams of the right to compete in the European arena is direct discrimination.

"The suspension of Russian adult teams reflects UEFA's commitment to confronting violence and aggression. We are determined to hold this position until the war is over and peace is restored.

But by prohibiting children from participating in our competitions, we not only fail to recognize and support the fundamental right to their full development, but also directly discriminate against them.

By giving children the opportunity to play and compete with their peers from all over Europe, we are investing in what we hope will be a brighter and more capable future generation and a better tomorrow," Ceferin said.

Earlier it was reported that England refused to play with the youth national teams of Russia, which UEFA allowed to participate in international competitions.

Russia's suspension from international football: what is known

In response to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, UEFA and FIFA suspendedRussian clubs and national teams from participating in tournaments under their auspices.

Russian clubs were expelled from European competitions, and the Russian national team was excluded from the playoffs for the 2022 World Cup and not allowed to qualify for Euro-2024.

Since February 24, 2022, the Russian national team has played only friendly matches. The rivals of the national team of the terrorist country were Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt U-23 and Qatar.

In addition, officials from the aggressor country were not allowed to work at international matches. However, in September 2023, UEFA appointed a Russian team of referees led by Vera Opeykina for the Women's League of Nations match between the national teams of Armenia and Kazakhstan.

After that, the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF) protested to UEFA and called for not allowing representatives of the terrorist state into the international arena.

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