FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations announced Monday that Russian national teams and Russian club teams are suspended from competing in competitions, including popular tournaments like the World Cup and the Champions League, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
“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,” read the joint statement from FIFA, professional soccer’s world governing body, and its European counterpart UEFA.
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The Russian men’s soccer team had World Cup qualifying matches scheduled just weeks away in March, and those playoffs will no longer happen if this suspension remains in place.
““Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.” ”
“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” the joint statement continued. “Both Presidents [of FIFA and UEFA] 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 did not give conditions as to how this suspension could be lifted.
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Soccer federations in Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden have already stated that they would have boycotted those World Cup qualifying games in Russia if they were not moved to a new locations.
The news comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes should be banned from all international sports competition.
Unlike the statement from the IOC, the joint statement from FIFA and UEFA did not mention Belarus.