Spartak Moscow have issued a statement on UEFA’s decision to remove them from the Europa League, saying that the club is upset by the decision. Notably, Spartak were due to face RB Leipzig in the Europa League round of 16 after winning their group, but were sidelined by UEFA.
RB Leipzig were scheduled to host Spartak Moscow in the first leg on March 10th and the second leg on March 17th. However, those matches were canceled after football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA released a joint statement announcing the suspension of Russia from all competitions pending further announcement due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The decision to ban our team from the Europa League is worrying. We believe that even in the most difficult times, sport should aim to build bridges, not break them. We will focus on national competitions and hope for success soon. “Peace everyone needs,” Spartak tweeted on Monday.
The decision to exclude our team from the Europa League is staggering.
We believe that even in the most difficult times, sport should aim to build bridges, not break them.
We will focus on national competitions and hope for an early realization of the peace everyone needs.
— FC Spartak Moscow (@fcsm_eng) February 28, 2022
“UEFA and FIFA have decided to exclude from the current edition of the Europa League. This means that our round of 16 match against RB Leipzig will not go ahead as planned,” Spartak said in a statement.
“This verdict is related to the organizations’ position on the recent events in Ukraine.
“The latest decision by UEFA and FIFA, while expected, is extremely worrying. Unfortunately, our club’s efforts in the Europa League have been thwarted for reasons far beyond the purview of the sport.
“Spartak has millions of fans not only in Russia but all over the world. Our successes and failures bring people from dozens of different countries together.
“We believe that even in the most difficult of times, sport should aim to build bridges, not tear them down. We are forced to obey a decision with which we disagree.
“For now, we will focus on national competitions and look forward to quickly achieving the peace that everyone needs.”
RB Leipzig have issued their own statement on the cancellation of the round of 16 games that were due to be played on March 10th and 17th.
“For us, war in any form is unacceptable. We have always clearly emphasized this attitude, ”said the Bundesliga club.