UEFA let Belarus into Euro 2024 draw despite German demand

NYON, Switzerland — UEFA decided on Tuesday to let Belarus participate in the draw for next month’s 2024 European Championship qualifiers despite a request from the government of tournament host Germany to withdraw the draw. team because Belarus is a military ally of Russia.

UEFA have confirmed that Belarus will take part in the 53-nation draw from which Russia is banned, although Belarusians cannot be placed in the same group as neighboring Ukraine for security reasons.

The qualifying groups will be drawn on October 9 in Frankfurt and German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser last week urged UEFA not to let Belarus play. UEFA said they responded to Faeser in a confidential letter.

UEFA acted in May to ban Belarus from hosting matches and ensured that its ‘home’ matches in neutral territory would not be watched by fans.

Imposing the sanctions on Belarus four months ago, UEFA said the Russian invasion of Ukraine “was facilitated by the access granted from the neighboring territory of Belarus”.

Russian teams were banned from international competitions in February by UEFA and FIFA, the world football body. A Russian appeal against these decisions was rejected before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Other policy decisions that limit the Euro 2024 draw, including the extension of long-standing UEFA lockdowns on games between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Spain and Gibraltar, as well as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina against Kosovo.

UEFA is also intervening in the draw to limit excessive travel and potential extreme weather conditions a team may face.

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