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Norway refuses to select Mathias Normann after joining Russian club

Nigel French - PA Images / PA Images / Getty

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Norway's soccer federation has excluded midfielder Mathias Normann from national selection this month because he is joining a new club in Russia.

Norwegian sports have taken a strong line on Russian issues since the invasion of Ukraine in February, including refusing to accept the country's skiers at races last season.

Normann returned to Russia with his former club Rostov after playing last season in the English Premier League at Norwich, and is reportedly set to join Dynamo Moscow.

Norwegian federation president Lise Klaveness said on Monday she and coach Stale Solbakken agreed Normann could not be selected because of his decision to join a new club in Russia.

The 26-year-old Normann has played 12 games for Norway since making his debut in 2019.

Fueled by five goals from Manchester City forward Erling Haaland, Norway is top of its Nations League group ahead of playing at Slovenia and hosting Serbia on Sept. 24 and 27, respectively. The team did not qualify for the World Cup.

World Cup team Poland also acted against a player based in Russia, saying in June defender Maciej Rybus would not be selected after he signed a two-year contract to join Spartak Moscow.

Russian soccer teams were banned from international competitions by FIFA and UEFA because of the war on Ukraine, including removal from qualifying for the men's and women's World Cups and the Women's European Championship finals tournament in July.


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