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FIFA, UEFA suspend Russia from all competitions over Ukraine invasion

Author:
Idris Shehu

FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions, following Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Ukraine.

The football governing bodies gave the sanction in a jointly released statement on Monday evening.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.

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“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.”

The sanction means Russian men’s team will not play in the World Cup play-off matches in March while the women’s team will not participate in the European championship in summer.

The suspension is also a U-turn from the initial action by FIFA to allow Russia to continue participating in the World Cup qualifiers — but on neutral venues, without the country’s flag and under the name “football union of Russia.”

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Many European nations saw the initial sanction by FIFA as a mere slap on the wrist while fomenting their displeasure.

Consequently, England, Poland, Sweden, Wales, and the Czech Republic said their national teams would not be playing Russia in any of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers next month.

Some of the countries had also called on FIFA to expel Russia from the competition.

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