The International Football Federation (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have suspended Russian national teams and clubs from participating in all international competitions, according to their joint statement published on the FIFA website.
These decisions were made by the FIFA Council Bureau and the UEFA Executive Committee – the highest decision-making bodies of both organizations to address urgent issues.
“FIFA and UEFA have made a joint decision that all Russian teams, whether national teams or clubs, will be banned from participating in all international tournaments until further notice. Football is completely united and in solidarity with all the victims in Ukraine. Both presidents (Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA, and Gianni Infantino, FIFA) they hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve quickly so that football can again become a vector of unity and peace between people,” the message says.
The Russian men’s national football team was scheduled to play Poland in Moscow on March 24 in the semifinals of the play-off tournament for reaching the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The Russian women’s national team was supposed to take part in the European Championship, which will be held from 6 to 31 July in England.
In addition, Spartak Moscow was supposed to meet Leipzig in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League. The first meeting was scheduled for March 10 in Germany; the return meeting was to take place on March 17.
Thus, FIFA tightened its initial sanctions, which stated that due to the situation in Ukraine, Russia should not host international matches, and home games should be held on neutral fields without spectators. On Monday, the IOC executive committee recommended that sports federations not allow representatives of Russia and Belarus to compete. The committee added that athletes and teams from these countries can participate only in a neutral status without using national anthems and flags.