UEFA boss says Russian ban ‘breaks his heart’ but defends decision – RT Sport News

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has commented on the suspensions imposed on Russian teams

The decision to suspend Russian teams from international competition was the “law” a but was a painful choice to make, said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

Along with FIFA, UEFA announced last month that Russian national and club teams would be suspended from participating in tournaments organized by the organisations. “until further notice” following the military campaign in Ukraine.

In an interview with Brazilian outlet Globo, UEFA chief Ceferin claimed the decision was the right one, even though the Russian players were suffering due to events completely beyond their control.

“Deciding that the Russian clubs and the national team cannot play was the right decision, but from another point of view it breaks my heart to see that the athletes have to pay for the decision which is not the theirs, and the war which is not theirs,” said Ceferin.

In taking this step, UEFA and FIFA were following the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which said Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be invited to international competitions whenever possible.

The suspension of football means the Russian men’s national team is set to be robbed of the chance to reach the Qatar 2022 World Cup, while the Russian women’s team will likely miss this summer’s European Championship in England.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) has appealed the bans from FIFA and UEFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, although football’s governing bodies have refused to speed up the process .

UEFA also stripped Russia of the 2022 Champions League final, which was due to be held in St Petersburg in May, and ended its sponsorship deal with Russian energy giants Gazprom.

“We canceled our contract with Gazprom, [and] several days later, many European countries still buy gas from Gazprom, but they talk about football all the time. So sometimes it’s a double morality,” Ceferin said when asked about the situation.

FIFA releases Poland as Russian hopes hinge on legal bid

Russian officials have criticized the sweeping sanctions imposed on the country’s athletes by the likes of UEFA, calling them discriminatory and undermining the principle that sport should be separated from politics.

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