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European Football Body UEFA Upholds Russian Youth Team Ban

Russian's national youth football team during practice. Kristina Korovnikova / Russian Football Union

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has ruled to keep Russia’s Under-17 team banned from international competitions following backlash from some of the organization's members, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

UEFA and the world football authority FIFA banned Russian clubs and national teams from competitions days after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

Last month, UEFA made a surprise decision to readmit Russia’s Under-17 team this season, arguing that “children should not be punished for actions whose responsibility lies exclusively with adults.”

At least 12 of UEFA’s 55 members balked at the reversal and UEFA’s executive committee itself was split over the decision, according to AP.

“The agenda point [of readmitting Russia’s Under-17 team] was withdrawn as no technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found,” UEFA said after an executive committee meeting Tuesday.

As a result, Russia will miss out on the qualifying competition for the 2024 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Cyprus.

FIFA last week reinstated Russia’s Under-17 girls and boys teams on the condition that they play under the name “Football Union of Russia” as well as without a national flag and anthem.

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