FIFA to ban Russia from World Cup qualifying

FIFA and UEFA decided to ban Russia just hours after the International Olympic Committee called on international sports federations to ba...


FIFA and UEFA decided to ban Russia just hours after the International Olympic Committee called on international sports federations to ban Russian athletes and teams from participating in all global sporting events whenever possible. Olympic officials said Russia breached a pledge – known as the Olympic Truce, signed before the start of the Beijing Winter Games and slated for the Paralympic Games which open this week – when it invaded the Ukraine.

The immediate consequence of the football ban imposed on Russia is that they will lose their place in a group of four teams for one of the last European places for the World Cup. Poland, who were due to face Russia in March in Moscow, had stated adamantly that they would refuse to enter the pitch for the game, a stance they repeated after FIFA announced their initial list of penalties on Sunday night .

Cezary Kulesza, the president of the Polish football federation, called FIFA’s initial decision not to expel Russia “completely unacceptable”. In a post on Twitter, he added: “We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our position remains intact: the Polish national team will NOT play with Russia, regardless of the name of the team. »

Sweden and the Czech Republic, the teams that could have faced Russia – also in Moscow – if the Russians beat Poland, said they would also refuse to play, even at a neutral venue.

Russia’s indefinite ban also extends to its club teams, meaning Spartak Moscow, its last remaining participant in a continental competition, will no longer be able to take part in their Europa League knockout tie against Russia. German RB Leipzig. That game was uncertain before Monday’s decision, with officials unsure how the Russian team might travel after the European Union issued a blanket ban on Russian flights to the 27-member bloc.

It remains unclear whether the decision to exclude Russia will be challenged in court. Russia, along with some of its athletes, has in recent years successfully fought exclusion from other events, including the Olympics, winning sanctions watered down through appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Russian Football Union, known as the RFU, called the ban discriminatory and said it was considering its legal options. “Such actions divide the international sporting community, which has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual respect and independence from politics,” the FRU said. “We reserve the right to challenge the decision of FIFA and UEFA in accordance with international sports law.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: FIFA to ban Russia from World Cup qualifying
FIFA to ban Russia from World Cup qualifying
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