Russian clubs and their national teams have been banned from taking part in footballing competitions until further notice by both FIFA and UEFA following their country’s attack on Ukraine.
The two governing bodies’ decision sees Russia booted out of World Cup qualification in a U-turn move, having initially declared that Valeri Karpin’s side would be allowed to compete in the upcoming play-offs on certain terms.
Those terms included changing their name to ‘Football Union of Russia’, playing home games at a neutral venue and having no reference to Russia at their matches – such as flags or the national anthem.
But the initial decision was promptly slammed by their World Cup playoff semi-final opponents, Poland, who had previously confirmed over the weekend that they would boycott the match – scheduled for Thursday, March 24 in Moscow – in support of neighbours Ukraine.
Now Russia’s hopes of featuring in Qatar later this year – as well as Spartak Moscow’s Europa League campaign – have been quashed all together, with FIFA and UEFA confirming their decision after days of mounting pressure to adopt a firm stance.
A joint statement read: “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.
“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.”