— Published 6 April 2023

UEFA keeps Belarus in the tournament

The issue had to be decided. It has been postponed. Meeting in Lisbon on Wednesday 5 April for its annual congress, the day after a meeting of its executive committee, UEFA took no decision on Belarus. Unlike Russia, which has been excluded from European competitions since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, it remains admitted to the continental stage. “I said that the issue would be discussed and I also said that only the executive committee could take a decision and no one else,” explained UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin. We had a discussion, we withdrew the organisation of the European Women’s U-19 Championship in 2025. For the future, we will study the situation and we will see what we decide or not at the next executive committee meeting on 28 June. Supporting Russia in its military invasion of Ukraine, Belarus has started the Euro 2024 qualifiers in a normal way. A chaotic start, marked by defeats against Switzerland (5-0) and Romania (2-1). UEFA is the only body in the sporting movement to have dissociated Russia and Belarus in its sanctions. Its position is all the more difficult to explain as its president, Aleksander Ceferin, explained in a press conference on Wednesday 5 April: “My personal opinion is that it will be difficult for us to change anything (regarding the suspension of Russia) as long as the war has not ended.”