World Cup: Russia national team and football clubs suspended from competitions - what have FIFA and UEFA said
The governing bodies for World and European football have taken the decision following the countries invasion of Ukraine.
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The decision means that the men’s national team will not be able to compete in their FIFA World Cup play-off while the women’s team have been banned from this summer’s European Championships.
At club level, Spartak Moscow have been kicked out of the UEFA Europa League.
FIFA had previously decided that Russia would complete their upcoming fixtures under the title ‘Football Union of Russia’ at a neutral venue outside of the country and without their flag or national anthem.
However, that decision was met by widespread condemnation from other football associations including Poland, who were scheduled to face Russia this month.
Polish FA president previously said Cezary Kulesza : “We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will not play with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is.”
The winner of Poland v Russia would have faced either Sweden or Czech Republic for a spot at the World Cup finals in Qatar with Swedish FA president Karl-Erik Nilsson also saying they were "not satisfied" with the initial ruling.
FIFA Statement - Russia national football teams and clubs suspended from all competitions
FIFA released a new statement yesterday, February 28, on behalf of itself and UEFA to confirm that both governing bodies have taken the decision and “are in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine”.
It 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.
“These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters.
“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.”
What next after Russia national football teams and clubs suspended?
Spartak Moscow have been kicked out of the UEFA Europa League and their scheduled Last 16 opponents, RB Leipzig, have advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition.
The Russian women’s national team have been banned from competing at this summer’s European Championships.
It remains unclear exactly what will happen with this month’s FIFA men’s World Cup qualifiers where Russia were scheduled to play Poland.
If FIFA decided to take the same decision as UEFA did with RB Leipzig in the Europa League then the Polish national team would advance to their World Cup qualifying play-off final uncontested to face the winner of Sweden or Czech Republic.
As things stand, all we know is that Russia will not be permitted to compete in the match which was scheduled for March 24.
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