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Belarus Allowed To Take Part In Draw For 2024 European Soccer Championship.

Players from Belarus's national soccer team pose for a group photo in June.

Players from Belarus's national soccer team pose for a group photo in June.

European soccer's ruling body has decided to let Belarus participate in the 2024 European Championship qualifying draw next month despite a request from tournament host Germany to remove the team because of its support for Russia.

UEFA confirmed on September 20 that Belarus will be in the 53-nation draw scheduled to take place on October 9 in Frankfurt.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser last week sent a letter to UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin saying that "as a major supporter of the Russian leadership" Belarus should be excluded "from all international football matches and tournaments."

UEFA said it replied to Faeser in a confidential letter.

UEFA in May prohibited Belarus from hosting games and said no fans will be permitted at its home games, which must be played on neutral territory.

When it imposed those sanctions, UEFA said the Russian invasion of Ukraine "had been facilitated by access given from the neighboring territory of Belarus."

Russian teams were banned in February from international competitions by both UEFA and world soccer's governing body, FIFA. A Russian appeal against those decisions was dismissed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russia's soccer federation announced on September 20 it would not take part in the draw for the Euro 2024 qualifiers, citing the decision by UEFA.

After its executive committee meeting on September 20, UEFA confirmed the rules for the draw.

"As Russia is currently suspended until further notice following the UEFA Executive Committee decision of 28 February 2022, which has further been confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on 15 July 2022, it will not take part in the draw for the qualifying competition," the federation said in the document.

With reporting by AP, dpa, and AFP

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