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28 Feb, 2022 17:34

FIFA and UEFA suspend all Russian teams

The ruling means that Russia's men's team is set to be denied the chance to qualify for the 2022 World Cup
FIFA and UEFA suspend all Russian teams

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have banned all Russian teams from their competitions until further notice, as the two organizations issued a joint statement on Monday.

"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," read a statement.

"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.

"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."

In a separate statement, UEFA announced that it had ended its partnership with Russian energy company Gazprom "with immediate effect." 

FIFA had earlier been in advanced talks regarding Russian teams after Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic refused to play against Russia in an upcoming men's World Cup qualifying semi-final and potential final in Moscow on March 24 and March 29.

On Sunday, the world football governing body had determined that Russian teams must play at neutral venues amid Russia's military operation in Ukraine, and that Russian national teams would have to perform under a 'Football Union of Russia' banner without fans and the use of their flag or national anthem.

However, with Monday's decision, FIFA and UEFA have gone beyond those measures and have now excluded Russia and its club teams entirely from all their tournaments until further notice, which seems certain to bar the men's team from contention for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The ban also means that, as things stand, the Russian women's national team would be ruled out of competing at Euro 2022.

Unlike the men's team, who had a tough road ahead in having to first beat Poland and then either Sweden or the Czech Republic to reach the FIFA World Cup, Russia's women have already qualified for the UEFA Euro showpiece in England, which they were due to kick off by facing Switzerland in a Group C clash on July 9.

Last week, UEFA announced that it was moving the 2022 men's Champions League final from St. Petersburg to Paris.