Twelve-time international is banned after choosing Russian club

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Monday, September 5, 2022 at 11:41 PM• Jeroen van Poppel • Last update: 23:50

Mathias Normann can forget an invitation to the Norwegian national team for the time being. The 26-year-old midfielder signed with Dinamo Moscow on Monday evening and is banned from Norway for that club choice, confirms national coach Ståle Solbakken. “That was not a difficult decision, no,” Solbakken told the national broadcaster NRK.

Normann has been under contract with FK Rostov since 2019, but played on a rental basis for Norwich City last season. At the time of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the twelve-time Norwegian international was therefore not active on Russian soil. Normann was warned by Solbakken that a choice for a new Russian club would mean the end of his international career, but still opted for a switch to Dinamo Moscow.

Over the past year and a half, Normann has invariably received an invitation for the Norwegian national team, and in the two World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands (1-1 and 2-0 loss), he was in the starting lineup. “In principle, it is not the association’s job to say anything about the club choice of the national team players, but we are now in an extraordinary situation,” said Lise Klaveness, president of the Norwegian association. “All of Norwegian and European football agree to jointly exert pressure on Russia as a belligerent, which has also made very active use of positions of power in sport.”

National coach Solbakken is very judgmental about the transfer of Normann to Dinamo Moscow. “I think it’s a totally wrong choice,” said the selector. “This is the result. We will see if Mathias ever returns to the Norwegian national team. If he gets other ideas, that is still a possibility. But at the moment there is no question at all.”

Normann already explained his choice on Norwegian television on Saturday. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career, it’s that you shouldn’t confuse politics and football. I’m going to play football there and I’m ‘happy’ with that,” Normann said. TV 2. The midfielder emphasized that he condemns the Russian acts of war in Ukraine. At the same time, he believes that Russia was now his best sporting opportunity. “I am afraid of the consequences it could have, but I hope that I will be seen as the footballer I will remain.”


The article is in Dutch

Tags: Twelvetime international banned choosing Russian club

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