Skip to content

Five international sides banned from squaring off as ‘Europe’s bloodiest match’ kicks off

Five international sides banned from squaring off as 'Europe's bloodiest match' kicks off

On Saturday night, Armenia and Turkey will go head-to-head in their Euro 2024 qualifier in a clash that goes beyond football.

These teams have only played twice since Armenia’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 – during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. “This is just a football match, not a war. We cannot carry the weight of history on our shoulders,” Fatih Terim told reporters before the match.

However, the two countries do not have diplomatic relations, and their 193-mile land border is closed. Their rivalry stems from Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide that preceded each country’s founding, yet UEFA allows them to play each other.

However, some countries are considered too dangerous to face each other.

Russia vs. Ukraine

Russia is currently excluded from UEFA due to the invasion of Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine have been separated by UEFA since 2014 – when conflicts broke out in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

However, the two sides clashed at the 2021 European Futsal Championship, just weeks before Vladimir Putin’s troops crossed the border and began a siege of Kiev. That evening, Ukrainian fans chanted: “Putin is an a***head.”

This was met with a reaction over the PA system: “Please stop singing political songs. If it continues, the referee will stop the game.” In 11-a-side matches, Russia and Ukraine have not played each other since 2007.

Armenia vs. Azerbaijan

FC Qarabag from the disputed region played against Arsenal in European competitions(Image: GETTY )

Europe’s ‘forgotten war’ still sees a flourishing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh – also known as Artsakh.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Magazine, and enjoy exclusive fresh news 24/7