European football’s governing body has banned Russian teams and clubs from participating in a number of upcoming competitions
Russian football chiefs and personalities have reacted to UEFA’s latest decision to ban Russian teams and clubs from participating in a number of upcoming competitions.
These teams were already banned from participating in international competitions after UEFA and FIFA announced joint bans on February 28 in response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine made on the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
On Monday, the women’s national team was withdrawn from Euro 2022 and replaced by Portugal as the men’s team were expelled from the Nations League.
As Russian teams were banned from European club competitions in 2022/2023, Russian bids to host the Men’s Euro in 2028 or 2032 were also rejected.
In a statement released shortly after the announcement, the Russian Football Union (RFU) expressed its “categorical disagreement with the decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee”.
“The RFU will continue to defend its own interests in the context of the cases already pending before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne and reserves the right to file new requests.” it was added to Championat by the organisation’s press service.
In the same media, Honorary President of the RFU Vyacheslav Koloskov said that the result was “sad” but “expected” given current world events.
“We were a bit encouraged by the words of [UEFA president Aleksander] Ceferin that the players had nothing to do with it”, Koloskov explained.
“However, the words remained words. [is there] To do? The RFU acted with great wisdom: they hoped for the best, but prepared for the worst.”
“Now, in fact, there is only the second option left”, Koloskov highlighted. “The transition to the Asian Confederation, which from my point of view will be disastrous for Russian football.”
“Or the third is the development of football in Russia – regions, academies, universities”, he concluded.
The potential move to the Asian Football Confederation is something other RFU figures such as Deputy General Secretary Mitrofanov have also spoken of in negative terms previously describing the idea as “fancy.”
“The press talks about the fact that Russia could move to an Asian or even African confederation. But for now, it’s just imaginary. Mitrofanov said according to Match TV at the ‘We are together. Sport’ forum in Moscow.
If ex-Lokomotiv Moscow chief executive Ilya Gerkus is to be listened to, it’s a lead the RFU should now consider pursuing.
“UEFA made its decisions citing the insecurity of playing games with our teams. This is bad news for our football, and personally I would seriously consider the prospect of moving to the Asian Confederation,” said Gerkus.
“It will save the international calendar, get the national team and clubs out of isolation and give them the necessary game training,” Ilya Gerkus pointed out to Match TV.
Also on Match TV, Spartak Moscow legend Evgeny Lovchev said UEFA had opened a “Pandora’s box that will have trouble closing”.
“The solution is complete nonsense. Today Russia is not good for them, but tomorrow it will be another country,” he claimed.
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