The ongoing tense conflict triggered by Russia has brought upon repercussions on a global level that has crept its way into football as well. After due deliberation, FIFA and UEFA have made the decision to remove Russia’s national team and clubs from their respective competitions.
With the decision being implemented with immediate effect, Russia’s national teams are out of the FIFA and UEFA tournaments. The Men’s national team are now no longer eligible to play in the World Cup qualifiers, ruling them out of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
The Women’s team also meet with the same fate after being ejected from the European qualifiers. Several national associations and players had expressed their issues over playing against Russia in the upcoming scheduled fixtures.
Russia were scheduled to face Poland in the World Cup playoffs which includes other sides like the Czech Republic and Sweden.
As far as club football is concerned, Spartak Moscow have been removed from the Europa League Round Of 16. The Russian club have been replaced with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.
FIFA and UEFA released a joint statement which read:
“Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, 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.”
FIFA had stripped Russia off its Champions League final hosting rights
UEFA had already moved the 2022 Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. FIFA followed the footsteps of Schalke 04 and ended their association with the Russian multinational energy cooperation Gazprom. The decision brings an end to a long-standing lucrative deal at least till 2024.
The statement continued:
“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 and UEFA were initially planning to conduct the Putin-led nation’s International side and club matches across neutral venues, but have handed the nation an exile altogether for the foreseeable future.
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