"They won't refuse to play, but we won't": a participant in the World Cup from Russia calls for the disqualification of teams boycotting Russians
Former CSKA Moscow midfielder Dmitry Kuznetsov expressed confidence that European teams will not boycott matches against the Russians if they return to international tournaments. The 1994 FIFA World Cup participant added that the opponents of the Russian representatives should simply be disqualified if they refuse to play.
Kuznetsov made these statements in an interview with the RB Sport portal. The former Russian national team player lamented that due to the decisions of the European Football Union (UEFA) and the International Football Federation (FIFA) to exclude Russian teams from their tournaments, a generation of players is disappearing from the country.
"The problem is with Latvia and Estonia, right? If we are allowed to play, what if they refuse to play against us? Well, they will just be disqualified, and that's it. If we are allowed to play in Europe, how can they refuse to play with us? It seems to me that everything will end, and everything will be fine with our football. A generation is disappearing. It's a pity that the guys won't be able to play in Europe, at the World Cup. A generation is disappearing. They will not be able to say that they played against the strongest teams in Europe. It's a pity," Kuznetsov said.
Last year, UEFA attempted to reintegrate the Russian youth national team into the European Championship qualifying tournament but faced a strong rejection from various countries. More than a dozen federations announced a boycott of matches with the team from the aggressor country. Following this, UEFA reversed its decision.