Sanctions are chance for Russian football to find new talent – sports minister
Russia's Minister of Sport Oleg Matytsin has reacted to sanctions on Russian football and suggested they could lead to the unearthing of new domestic talent.
Following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation, UEFA and FIFA banned all Russian teams and clubs from international competition due to Russia's military operation in Ukraine, which has led to the men's national team being ruled out of World Cup qualification and the women's team prevented from contesting Euro 2022 in England this summer.
Spartak Moscow were also removed from the UEFA Europa League last 16, while FIFA also announced that foreign players and coaches in Russia can temporarily suspend their contracts and head elsewhere until June 30.
Maintaining optimism, Matytsin predicted that quality of play in Russia will not necessarily drop as a result of a potential exodus, which instead creates "an opportunity to find new talent."
"Russia has done so much for world football, including [hosting] the World Cup and the Confederations Cup. I know with what interest FIFA President Gianni Infantino looks at our country," Matytsin added to Russia-24 TV.
Matytsin also stated that he was "absolutely sure" the footballing calendar in Russia will be revised.
"Let's see what resources our football has," he suggested.
Matytsin's comments come after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced the Russian Football Union (RFU) had lodged an appeal against FIFA and UEFA's ban on Russian teams in international competitions.
Russia's scheduled opponents for a Qatar 2022 qualifying semi-final in Moscow on March 24, Poland, have received a bye to the semi-final five days later, where they will face Sweden or the Czech Republic unless Russia's appeal with the CAS is successful and their exclusion is overturned.