FIFA and UEFA have come to a unanimous decision, opting to ban Russian clubs and the national team from competing in football until further notice.
FIFA and UEFA have launched a joint statement, confirming their decision to further sanction Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. The Russian national team has been banned from competing in any international tournament, whereas the Russian clubs have been knocked out of the UEFA competitions.
The sanction should see Russia being barred from participating in the World Cup qualifiers. Meanwhile, RB Leipzig, who were drawn against Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Europa League, are set to be rewarded a direct entry to the quarter-finals.
The joint declaration from football’s governing bodies comes just a few days after the Polish FA launched a statement, citing its plans to boycott their upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff against Russia. Along with the Czech Republic and Sweden, the teams had launched a joint statement, with even Robert Lewandowski urging the authority to take action.
“FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice,” the statement read.
After Russia's suspension from football, Spartak Moscow are now disqualified from the Europa League with their round-of-16 opponents RB Leipzig advancing into the quarterfinals. pic.twitter.com/3nWGoD8gWd
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 28, 2022
The two authorities went on to confirm their pledge to stand behind Ukraine amid the ongoing crisis and soaring geopolitical tension in Europe. “Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”
FIFA had initially opted against the idea of banning Russia from international competitions. They were only willing to ban the Russian flag and the national team while renaming the team “Football Union of Russia”. However, their decision was met with fierce criticism, especially from Poland, who doubled down on their commitment to boycotting the World Cup qualifiers.
Ultimately, both FIFA and UEFA were able to come to a joint conclusion after holding another meeting. Their decision to expel the Russian national team and the Russian clubs is the latest of a series of sanctions that have gone against Russia in recent days.
Just a few days after the invasion, UEFA had already confirmed its plans to end the sponsorship deal with Gazprom. The Russian state-owned energy company were expelled by Schalke as well, and as the situation escalates further, we can expect a lot more football-related consequences and sanctions against the Russians.
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