Footballers from Ukraine and Belarus to be kept apart by Uefa

Teams from Ukraine and Belarus will be kept apart in international football tournaments and European club competitions until further notice, reports citing UNIAN.

Uefa suspended Russia - and Russian clubs - from its tournaments following the invasion of Ukraine, but has allowed Belarus to continue competing despite that country's support of the invasion.

Belarus have already been ordered to play home matches behind closed doors on neutral territory, and now Uefa says it will not permit any meetings between teams from Belarus and Ukraine to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.

The news comes the week before Ukraine's footballers bid to qualify for the World Cup - they play Scotland next Wednesday in a match delayed by the war, with the winners then playing Wales four days later for a spot in the finals in Qatar.

Action against sportspeople and teams from Russia and Belarus has been a bone of contention in recent months. The International Olympic Committee's executive board recommended in February that athletes and teams from the two nations should not be allowed to take part in international competitions.

But international tennis ruling bodies have said no ranking points will be awarded at Wimbledon this year after championship organisers said they would exclude Russian and Belarussian players. The French Open, currently taking place, does feature stars from the two countries.

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