Ex-Russia captain Artem Dzyuba rejects call up in U-turn over Putin’s war in Ukraine

Poland football manager says Russia shouldn't play in World Cup

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Ex-Russia captain Artem Dyuba has rejected a call-up to the national team in the wake of his country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia have called their players together for a training camp despite the fact they have been banned from playing matches.

Dyuba played in all three of Russia’s Euro 2020 matches last summer as his team exited the competition at the group stages. But he hasn’t played for his country since.

The 33-year-old has relatives in Ukraine and has now decided to turn his back on Russia by snubbing their invitation to train.

“Due to the difficult situation in Ukraine, where he has many relatives, he apologised and asked not to call him up for this training camp,” said Russia manager Valeriy Karpin.

Dzyuba has clearly made a U-turn on his stance towards football after he recently questioned why athletes had to pay the price for Russia’s actions.

“Until recently, I did not want to speak on the topic of events in Ukraine,” Dzyuba wrote on Instagram.

“I didn’t want to, not because I’m afraid, but because I’m not an expert in politics.

“I never got into it and didn’t intend to (unlike a large number of political scientists and virologists who have recently appeared on the Internet).

“But like everyone else, I have my own opinion. Since I am being drawn to this topic from all sides, I will express it.

“I am against any war. War is a frightful thing. But I am also against human aggression and hatred, which is gaining some sort of devastating scale every day.

“I am not afraid that I am Russian. I’m proud to be Russian. And I don’t understand why athletes have to suffer now. I am against double standards.

“Why is it that one can do everything, and they hang all dogs on us? Why has everyone shouted about sports staying outside of politics but, at the first opportunity, when it comes to Russia, this principle is completely forgotten?

“I repeat, war is scary. In stressful situations, people show their true essence, sometimes negative.

“How much anger, dirt and bile has now been poured on all Russian people, regardless of their position and profession. Those thousands of people why write insults and threats, get in line!

“It is doubly strange to hear all this from people to whom Russia has given very, very much in their lives.

“All this only creates more negativity. The war will end but human relations will remain and it will be impossible to rewind back. Keep this in mind.”

Russia finished second in their World Cup qualifying group and were due to play Poland in the play-offs later this month.

But FIFA released a statement last month to confirm that Russia would be kicked out of the tournament and prohibited from playing matches.

“FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice,” the governing body said on February, 28.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.

“Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”

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