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Tuesday, June 21, 2022 – Poland’s Maciej Rybus has been banned from representing his country at this year’s World Cup after the defender signed for Russian club Spartak Moscow.

Recall, a huge number of foreign players have left Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, but 32-year-old left-back Rybus, who has played 66 times for Poland, moved to Spartak earlier this month after a five-year spell with local rivals Lokomotiv Moscow.

The ban was enforced because Poland is a top ally of Kyiv and has been one of Ukraine’s biggest financial supporters since the invasion began on February 24. The country has taken in more than 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees in the last four months.

The Polish national team had to refuse to play Russia in their World Cup play-off semi-final that was scheduled for March.

‘The coach of the Polish national team, Czeslaw Michniewicz, talked to Maciej Rybus, who was currently staying in Poland, after the training camp of the national team ended last week,’ the Polish FA said in a statement.

‘The coach informed the player that due to his current club situation, he would not be called up for the September training camp of the national team and would not be considered for the team that would go to the World Cup in Qatar.’

Rybus has represented Poland at Euro 2012 and the 2018 World Cup since making his national team debut in 2009, but he will not be at the 2022 World cup in Qatar.

His Polish teammates, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Sebastian Szymanski also currently play for clubs in Russia, Krasnodar and Dynamo Moscow respectively, but both are expected to leave this summer.

Poland will face Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina in the group stage of the World Cup, which begins on November 21.  

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