FIFA sanctions against Russia
Photo: Deccan Herald

If you were hoping for FIFA to impose punitive sanctions on Russia as a result of their invasion of Ukraine, you may have to wait a while. The FIFA world governing body announced some sanctions against Russia on Sunday, although they were not severe. They were more milquetoast in nature.

The national team of the country will compete under the name of the Football Union of Russia rather than Russia. FIFA also unanimously decided to suspend any international matches from taking place on Russian soil until further notice. All home games must be held in neutral venues with no spectators present.

The whole world has started taking action against Russia after the attack on Ukraine. Meanwhile, in Russia, there will be no international matches. And if they want to play in a neutral venue, they have to play in the name of the Football Union of Russia without their own flag and national anthem. FIFA announced the decision in a statement on Sunday.

There was a scheduled match between Russia and Poland at home on March 24, according to Qatar’s World Cup qualifiers. If Russia had won the match, they would have faced Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29. European football’s governing body UEFA last Friday instructed clubs and national teams in Russia. And Ukraine to play their home matches at neutral venues outside the region until further notice. Russia will play their matches in a neutral venue, FIFA said in a statement.

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After the invasion of Ukraine, Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic took a stand against hosting a qualifying match in Russia. The Football Federation of the three countries later stated that they would not play against Russia. Not even in a neutral venue.

However, Cesare Kulesa, president of the Polish Football Association, called FIFA’s decision “absolutely unacceptable”. “We are not interested in taking part in this match,” he said. “Our position is the same as before, whatever the name of the team, the Polish national team will not play against Russia.”

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This time Russia is in the same group as Sweden, Netherlands, and Switzerland in the European Championship which will take place in England next July. However, all three teams in the group stage refused to play against Russia. However, FIFA will discuss with other sports bodies whether they should exclude Russia from various competitions.

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