(Reuters) – Poland’s Football Association (PZPN) on Tuesday sought clarity from global soccer governing body FIFA on the national team’s World Cup playoff against Russia in Moscow next month, after Russia ordered troops into breakaway regions of Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin granted official recognition to two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine on Monday, triggering Western condemnation and fuelling fears of a military confrontation in the region.
“The Polish FA has asked FIFA to urgently clarify the issues related to the organisation of the match,” the PZPN said in a statement, adding it hoped to provide players with optimal conditions to prepare for and play international games.
The playoff match between Russia and Poland to secure a spot at this year’s World Cup in Qatar is scheduled for March 24.
The PZPN acknowledged that political decisions, such as possible sanctions against Russia, remain the responsibility of the state authorities and international bodies.
“However, being aware of potential threats connected to the current situation, we are waiting for the position of the world federation authorities,” it said.
It added that the matter also concerned Sweden and the Czech Republic, who could potentially face Russia in Moscow in the playoff final.
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)