German minister asks UEFA to remove Belarus from Euro 2024
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — A German government minister has asked UEFA to remove Belarus from trying to qualify for the 2024 European Championship which her country is hosting, citing that country’s support for Russia.
UEFA said on Friday it received the letter to its president Aleksander Ceferin from interior minister Nancy Faeser, which was first reported by Der Spiegel magazine, and would reply to her.
The request comes three weeks before Germany hosts the Euro 2024 qualifying groups draw in Frankfurt which Russia already was banned from by UEFA.
UEFA and FIFA excluded all Russian teams from international soccer competitions in February, within days of the military invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA also acted days later against Belarus, which has supported the Russian military and political leadership. On March 3, UEFA prohibited Belarusian teams from hosting games on its territory but stopped short of a competitive ban.
Belarus was described on Friday by Russia President Vladimir Putin as an ally and partner at a conference in Uzbekistan also attended by the authoritarian Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarus has never qualified for a major soccer tournament and won just one game in each of its qualifying groups for the 2022 World Cup and Euro 2020.
In its UEFA Nations League group in June, Belarus played its home games in Novi Sad, Serbia. No fans were allowed to attend.
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