On Monday, FIFA suspended Russia and its teams from all competitions. Excluding them from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup only weeks before. They were set to compete for one of Europe’s remaining spots in this year’s event in Qatar.
Russian club teams were also prohibited from international events as a result of the suspension. It was issued Monday evening in collaboration with European soccer’s regulatory body. The announcement comes a day after FIFA was chastised for not going far enough in penalizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. And as national federations pressed FIFA for more action.
UEFA then went a step further in severing its relations with Russia, announcing the termination of a sponsorship agreement with Gazprom. According to reports, the arrangement was worth $50 million each year to European soccer. St. Petersburg. It is the home of Gazprom, was barred from competing in this year’s Champions League final by UEFA last week. Instead, the game will be held in France.
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Only hours after the International Olympic Committee urged international sports federations to ban Russian athletes. And teams from all global sporting events whenever possible, FIFA and UEFA voted to ban Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine, according to Olympic authorities, in violation of an agreement known as the Olympic Truce, which was negotiated before the start of the Beijing Winter Games and is set to last through the Paralympics, which begin this week
The immediate impact of Russia’s World Cup suspension is that it will be eliminated from a four-team group competing for one of Europe’s remaining World Cup spots. Poland, which was slated to play Russia in Moscow in March, had stated unequivocally that it would refuse to play the game. A position was reiterated after FIFA revealed its preliminary penalty list on Sunday night.
Russia’s indefinite suspension also applies to its club teams. Spartak Moscow, the country’s final surviving representative in continental competition. They will be unable to compete in the Europa League knockout match against RB Leipzig of Germany. Before Monday’s decision. The organizers were wondering how the Russian squad would be able to travel after the European Union imposed a blanket ban on Russian planes entering the 27-member bloc.
It is unknown whether the decision to exclude Russia will be challenged in court. In recent years, Russia and some of its athletes have successfully challenged removal from various competitions. It includes the Olympic Games, by appealing punishments to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.