August 11, 2022


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Russia suspended from World Cup 2022 as Fifa tightens sanctions over Ukraine invasion

2 min read

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.

Uefa also announced that it is to cancel a long-standing and highly lucrative sponsorship deal with the Russian gas company, Gazprom. The suspension means that 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 Championships 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 amongst people.”

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 effectively 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 is 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 Spartak Moscow’s Europa League last-16 opponents RB Leipzig, 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.”

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