French Football Federation President, Noël Le Graët, has said he would be in favour of throwing the Russian national team out of the Qatar World Cup qualifiers – play-offs.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has seen more than 150,000 people flee Ukraine since Russia launched an unprovoked military invasion last week ; United Nations High Commissioner.

“I am leaning towards excluding Russia from the next World Cup. This is my first impulse. Usually, I believe that sport is there to reconcile people and ease tensions. But this has gone much too far and the world of sport, and football in particular, cannot remain neutral. I will certainly not oppose the exclusion of Russia.”

The FFF president also explained French footballing authorities would have done the same as Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland in refusing to play against Russia next month, were France in their position:

“It’s simple, you don’t have to think long… We would never have gone there. In these dramatic circumstances, how could we have considered playing football against this country?”

Over the weekend, France’s Minister for Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, asked the French sporting community to not send any teams, players or representatives to Russia in light of the invasion, a decision on visiting Russian athletes is yet to be made.