FIFA And UEFA Ban All Russian Teams From Competing
FIFA and UEFA have announced a joint decision to ban Russian football clubs and national teams from competing in all competitions.
In an official statement, the governing bodies said “the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions” had agreed to the Russian suspension.
“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” read the statement. “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.”
The move comes amid urging from the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing in all international sports. The International Paralympic Committee is due to meet to discuss Russia’s involvement in the Winter Paralympics, which are due to begin in Beijing on Friday.
Originally, FIFA stated that the Russian team would be permitted to play against Poland in their scheduled World Cup play-off next month, though they would not be allowed to officially represent their country. Now, following international backlash and promises from the Polish FA, Swedish FA, Czech Republic FA and English FA that they would not play against Russia under any circumstances, FIFA has amended its decision.
The move means that not only will Russia be unable to compete in the World Cup, but Spartak Moscow will also be eliminated from the Europa League, meaning German team RB Leipzig will automatically advance to the quarter-finals. The Russian women’s team will also be banned from the European Championship.
In addition, UEFA has officially ended its sponsorship with the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which paid the governing body approximately £34 million per year.
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