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9 Dec, 2019 14:02

FIFA aiming to 'clarify extent of WADA decision regarding football' amid Russia World Cup ban fear - spokesperson to RT

FIFA aiming to 'clarify extent of WADA decision regarding football' amid Russia World Cup ban fear - spokesperson to RT

FIFA has told RT it is "in contact" with WADA in the wake of its four-year sporting ban on Russia to "clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football," following fears Russia will be banned at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee voted unanimously on Monday to uphold recommendations from its Compliance Committee of a four-year ban on Russia from international competition, which includes the Olympic Games and world championships.

Also on rt.com Russia banned from major sporting events for 4 years

That ban would cover next year's Tokyo 2020 Games, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and potentially the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, and see Russia effectively rubbed out as a competing nation.

However, FIFA are attempting to reach clarity over whether the ban would indeed stretch to World Cup football, which falls under the jurisdiction of FIFA, who have confirmed they are in talks with WADA to "clarify" the decision's influence on football. 

READ MORE: No flag, no anthem: What the WADA ban means for Russia

"FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA Executive Committee today. FIFA is in contact with WADA and ASOIF to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football," a FIFA spokesperson said in a statement to RT shortly after news of the decision broke.


Should Russia be banned from the World Cup, providing they qualify, the Russian flag and national anthem would be prohibited at Qatar 2022, most likely meaning the players would instead represent a 'neutral team', as has been the case in other team sports in prior Olympics.

If so, it would see the fourth incarnation of the country's national football team at a major tournament, coming after the USSR, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Russia.

It would be a huge blow for the nation, who were universally commended for their hosting of the 2018 World Cup, considered by many to have been the best on record, and at which the hosts reached the quarter-final stage.

The ruling will not extend to next year's Euro 2020 tournament, where Russia will play two of their three group games in St. Petersburg, nor the 2021 UEFA Champions League final, also held in the city, as both competitions do not fall under the major global tournament bracket.

Also on rt.com Russian Anti-Doping Agency is effective, we’ll find a way out of the crisis – RUSADA chief Yuri Ganus

WADA's move to ban Russia comes after the nation was alleged to have manipulated data provided to WADA from a Moscow anti-doping laboratory in January, which Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) chief Yuri Ganus later acknowledged to be true. 

Russia will be afforded 21 days to accept WADA's decision or lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).