Russia captain Artem Dzyuba asked to not be included in the national's team's latest squad due to his family ties to Ukraine.

Last month, Russia began an invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, much to the fury of the international community.

The response has been to hit Russia with wide-ranging sanctions, which have impacted Russian businesses and high-profile individuals.

There has also been a major reaction in the sporting world, with all Russian clubs and national teams banned from FIFA and UEFA competitions "until further notice", meaning their senior men's team's World Cup play-off is cancelled.

But the Russian Football Union (RFU) has appealed the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), with Russia still holding out hope of facing Poland later this month.

With that in mind, Russia coach Valery Karpin still named a squad for the upcoming international window, though Dzyuba – who plays for Zenit, the club owned by majority state-controlled energy company, Gazprom – will not be present.

Karpin said: "We did meet with Artem at the end of Zenit's pre-season training camp, but, of course, there were no promises for a mandatory call. This applies not only to Dzyuba, but to all players.

"On Sunday, we talked to Artem on the phone, he assured that, as he said at the meeting, he really wants to play for the national team.

"But now, due to the difficult situation in Ukraine, where he has many relatives, he apologised and asked for family reasons not to call him to this gathering.

"We agreed that we will stay in touch with him and will follow his performances for Zenit."

 

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