Sports

Russia suspended from all Fifa and Uefa competitions until further notice | FIFA

Fifa and Uefa have acted in unison to suspend Russian teams from international football competition.

The most powerful bodies in football acted after days of growing protest. Russia has now been removed from qualification for this winter’s World Cup, and its remaining club side will no longer compete in the Europa League. The suspension means Russia will not be able to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final next month, while its women’s team will also be barred from this summer’s European Championship in England.

“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,” read a joint statement.

“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 among people.”

Uefa also announced a second highly significant move, confirming it had canceled a long-standing and highly lucrative sponsorship deal with Gazprom. The Russian gas company had been a sponsor of the Champions League for a decade and the final of this year’s competition was to have been played in the Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg.

Last week Uefa moved the match to Paris, however, and has now severed the relationship entirely. “Uefa has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions,” a statement said. “The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the Uefa Champions League, Uefa national team competitions and Uefa Euro 2024.”

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board issued a recommendation to international sports federations earlier on Monday to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from international competitions wherever possible. That IOC executive board decision in effect gave a green light to Fifa to go further than it previously had, and to exclude Russia from the World Cup.

The IOC said the exclusion recommendation had been made “in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants”. It was the strongest move taken yet by the international sports community to isolate Russia from global competition.

Fifa had faced criticism over its initial decision on Sunday night to allow Russia to continue to compete in the men’s World Cup play-offs, but on neutral territory and under the Football Union of Russia banner.

Oliver Mintzlaff, the chief executive of RB Leipzig, Spartak Moscow’s Europa League last-16 opponents, said in a tweet on the club’s official channel: “We continue to be in close contact with the associations and have complete confidence in Uefa and their decision. We assume that the games will be cancelled.”

Manchester City’s Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko posted on Instagram on Monday calling for the exclusion of Russia from all international sports governing bodies and the country’s athletes from participating in international competitions.

About the author

MAGASIR

Leave a Comment