The official organization of European football informed BIRN that “friendly matches are not part of UEFA competitions and, as a result, lie outside the authority and responsibility of UEFA.”
A friendly match between Bosnia and Herzegovina national team and Russia’s national team was accepted by the Bosnian Football Association on Friday, which divided Bosnian opinion.
The decision of the UEFA Executive Committee to suspend Russian teams from UEFA tournaments is not in conflict with the scheduled friendly [game], according to UEFA.
By the time of publication, BIRN had not received a response from the Bosnian Football Association regarding the game.
A controversial football match between Russian and Bosnian teams is scheduled, but according to UEFA, it won’t violate any rules.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February resulted in the suspension of the Russian national team from all FIFA and UEFA events. All scheduled games were postponed. In the known future, the Russian squad will only face Kyrgyzstan in addition to Bosnia. The date for that game is September 24.
Bosnia hasn’t faced Russia’s national team in a game since gaining independence in the early 1990s, which raises concerns about the timing of this choice. Many people have referred to it as a political choice that won’t be good for Bosnian sport.
According to Nermin Niksic, leader of the Social Democratic Party, “This decision is evidence of the deep politicization of the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the implications of which may affect the entire country.”
Numerous Bosnian football players and officials have also criticized this choice and urged the association to call off the game.
“I don’t want to play this game! I merely want and am always for peace. Edin Dzeko, the most successful striker in Bosnia and captain of the national team, reportedly said: “The association is aware of my opinion.
I have my own viewpoint, which is obvious and does not entail playing this game when innocent people are suffering, but unfortunately I am not the one who decides who Bosnia and Herzegovina will play against. Dzeko continued, “Unfortunately, I am not the one who makes those decisions.
The largest group of national selection supporters, BH Fanaticosi, has demanded that this game be boycotted.
On the other hand, the announcement that Bosnia will participate in a friendly game had the Russian media in a frenzy. The Russian portal Sport Box stated in one analysis that “the holding of the match versus Bosnia and Herzegovina signals the beginning of the end of the isolation of Russian football.”