MOSCOW – Ukraine's national football team has been accused of political bias in its squad selection after leaving out players from Russian clubs.
The 24-man squad for upcoming friendlies against Cyprus and Wales contains players based in six countries but none who play their club football in neighboring Russia.
Among the players left out is striker Yevhen Seleznyov, who played both legs as Ukraine beat Slovenia in the qualifying playoffs for the European Championship.
Political tensions are high between Ukraine and Russia following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russian support for separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.
Senior Russian soccer figures including Russian Football Union honorary president Vyacheslav Koloskov have accused Ukraine of political bias. The Ukrainian Football Federation insists the players in its squad were picked on merit alone.