Poland drops Russian-based Rybus from World Cup plans

The move by the Polish FA comes after the left-back signed for the Russian team Spartak Moscow.

Maciej Rybus
Maciej Rybus has 66 caps for Poland and was in the squad for the last World Cup in 2018 and last year's European Championship [File: John Sibley/Reuters]

Poland will not consider defender Maciej Rybus in its plans for the World Cup in Qatar after he signed a new contract with a Russian club, the Polish football association (PZPN) has said.

The left-back, who has 66 caps to his name, has spent the past five years in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow and moved to their city rivals – Spartak Moscow – on a free transfer on June 11.

“The coach of the Polish national team, Czeslaw Michniewicz, talked to Maciej Rybus … after the training camp of the national team ended last week,” PZPN said in a statement on Monday.

“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,” the statement added.

There was no word from the federation on two other national players who have contracts with Russian clubs. Midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak of FC Krasnodar and Sebastian Szymanski are still covered by existing contracts signed before the invasion, and Krychowiak moved on loan to Greek club AEK Athens following the invasion.

Poland is a staunch ally of Kyiv and has been one of Ukraine’s biggest financial supporters since the February 24 invasion, which Moscow describes as a “special military operation”.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland refused to play a scheduled World Cup qualifying playoff against Russia in Moscow.

FIFA awarded Poland a bye into the next round, where it beat Sweden 2-0 to qualify for football’s showpiece tournament.

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

Source: News Agencies