Fifa and Uefa have banned Russian football clubs and national teams from all competitions following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
They will be banned “until further notice,” according to the world and European football governing bodies.
The Russian men’s team will not compete in the World Cup play-offs next month, and the Russian women’s team has been barred from competing in the Euro 2022 competition this summer.
Spartak Moscow has also been eliminated from the Europa League, while RB Leipzig, their last-16 opponents, has advanced to the quarter-finals.
Uefa’s sponsorship of Russian energy giant Gazprom has also come to an end.
In a joint statement, Fifa and Uefa said, “Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all those affected in Ukraine.”
“Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine improves significantly and quickly so that football can once again serve as a vehicle for people-to-people unity and peace.”
Fifa and Uefa intervened after Russia launched a military invasion of neighboring Ukraine last Thursday, backed by Belarus.
On March 24, the Russian men’s team was supposed to play Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final.
The RFU, the governing body of Russian football, stated that it “categorically disagreed” with the decision and that it would appeal it “in accordance with international sports law.” “We believe that sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, not burn them,” Spartak Moscow tweeted in response to the decision.
The decision to exclude our team from Europa League is upsetting.
We believe that sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, and not burn them.
We will focus on domestic competitions and hope for a speedy achievement of peace that everybody needs.
— FC Spartak Moscow (@fcsm_eng) February 28, 2022
Russia’s upcoming games must be played in neutral territory, under the name Football Union of Russia, and without their flag or anthem, according to Fifa.
However, the announcement drew criticism, and Scotland and the Republic of Ireland joined a number of other countries in refusing to play against Russia, including England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as well as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.
Rod Petrie, the president of the Scottish FA, wrote to his Ukrainian counterpart on Monday to “send a message of support, friendship, and unity,” with the two countries set to meet in a World Cup play-off semi-final on March 24.
The 2022 Champions League final, which was originally scheduled for May 28 in St Petersburg, has been moved to Paris, and a number of clubs have taken steps to distance themselves from Russia.
- The cease-fire talks in Ukraine have begun, Russia takes control of two Cities
- US Imposes Sanctions on Russian Central Bank
Manchester United has ended its sponsorship agreement with Russian airline Aeroflot, while Bundesliga club Schalke has ended its relationship with main sponsor Gazprom, having removed the Russian energy company’s logo from its shirts last week.
Northern Ireland’s European Under-21 Championship qualifying group includes Russia, and their match in March has been canceled.
“The whole world has to be compact and show [it] is solid against the stupidity of the people,” Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said on Monday.
He continued, ” “I believe it is appropriate to express our dissatisfaction with some of the decisions made. Football and Uefa must be compact and demonstrate their strength.”
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