Spartak Moscow have reacted to UEFA’s decision to kick them out of the Europa League.
Both Europe’s governing body and FIFA released a joint statement earlier today announcing that Russia and its teams would be banned from all intercontinental and international football tournaments with immediate effect.
The decision comes amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing escalating situation there.
It means that Spartak, who were due to face RB Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League, will take no further part in the competition.
The Russian national team have also been booted out of the World Cup, having been due to participate in next month’s play-offs.
In a statement released online, Spartak have responded to the FIFA/UEFA decision.
The club says they disagree with it and that say they are being ‘forced’ to obey.
Spartak said: “UEFA and FIFA have decided to exclude from the current iteration of the Europa League. This means that our round of 16 ties against RB Leipzig will not go ahead as planned.
“This verdict is connected to the organisations’ position on recent events that have taken place in Ukraine.
“The recent decision taken by UEFA and FIFA although expected, is extremely upsetting. Unfortunately, the efforts that our club made in the Europa League have been nullified for reasons that are far outside the remit of sports.
“Spartak has millions of fans not only in Russia, but all over the world. Our successes and failures bring people from dozens of different countries together. We believe that sport, even in the most difficult times, should aim to build bridges, and not burn them. We are forced to obey a decision that we do not agree with.
“For now, we shall focus on domestic competitions, and are looking forward to a speedy achievement of peace that everybody needs.”