KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: UEFA’s attempted ambush of its executive committee to open the international door to Russia at youth level has collapse.

The European federation and president Aleksandar Ceferin infuriated more than a dozen national associations and some of its senior directors by suddenly announcing a return to action for the Russia under-17 team in defiance of its own and FIFA’s international ban after the invasion of Ukraine.

Opposition meant that it would be complicated, if not impossible, to maintain a competition in which other nations would refuse to play the Russians.

A UEFA spokesman, after the latest exco meeting, said: “No technical solution to allow Russian teams to play could be found.”

UEFA’s original decision on September 26 had been taken on the basis that “children should not be punished for the actions of adults.”

England’s FA chair Debbie Hewitt, after the meeting, said: “We made our position very clear 18 months ago – we won’t play Russia in any category age group as long as there is a war. We felt very strong in that. That is a position we retain.”

Ukraine’s football association said: “We thank our European partners for supporting Ukraine. Russian football remains isolated, that is where it belongs.”