Ukraine: FIFA in discussions to exclude Russia from the World Cup

The International Football Federation (FIFA) is in “advanced discussions” to suspend the Russian national team from international competitions including the World Cup, in reaction to the Russian invasion in Ukraine, AFP learned Monday from a source familiar with the discussions.

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FIFA is working with the European Confederation (UEFA) to act on Monday this decision, which would exclude Russia from the 2022 World Cup (November 21-December 18), “unless the situation improves”, we explain. from the same source.

The Russians are due to play a play-off on March 24 against Poland, but the Poles have repeatedly said they will refuse to play it, even on neutral ground.

Host of the 2018 World Cup, a planetary event, Russia would find itself sportingly isolated by this decision, especially if UEFA were to confirm this suspension on a continental scale, which it was about to do on Monday according to information from the German agency SID, a subsidiary of AFP.

This would result in the exclusion of the Russian women’s team from the Euro in July in England, where they must challenge the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland in the group stage.

UEFA’s decision would also concern Spartak Moscow, engaged in the round of 16 of the Europa League, against RB Leipzig.

FIFA would thus follow the position of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which on Monday recommended to the International Federations “not to invite” Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams to international sports competitions.

On Sunday, FIFA had already pronounced a first salvo of sanctions, imposing on Russia to evolve under the name of “Russian Football Federation”, banishing the Russian flag and anthem from its events and asking Russians to play their matches. at home on neutral ground.

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