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29 Mar, 2022 16:42

FIFA has ‘nothing to discuss’ about Russia’s future, claims football dignitary

A member of the Russian Football Union delegation has cast doubt on reports that FIFA is poised to discuss expelling Russia
FIFA has ‘nothing to discuss’ about Russia’s future, claims football dignitary

FIFA will not discuss Russia's status and potential expulsion at its 72nd Congress in 2022 World Cup host city Doha, a member of the Russian Football Union (RFU) delegation has claimed despite the item purportedly featuring on the agenda in a key meeting following the nation's suspension as a result of the attack on Ukraine.

The agenda for the FIFA Council meeting, which will take place in Qatari capital a day before the Congress and draw for the finals, appeared to show that the suspension or expulsion of a member country would be decided.

Russian and Belarusian teams were suspended from all FIFA and UEFA competitions in February following the start of the military campaign in Ukraine.

Russian football figure Alexei Sorokin, who was on the local organizing committee for the 2018 World Cup, has now said his nation's future as part of FIFA will not be decided.

"As far as I know, the issue of discussing our status, exclusion and everything else is not on the agenda," the dignitary told Championat.

"But of course, like any question, it can arise in the process of discussion. We wouldn't want that to happen.

"We do not believe that we have done something that can be discussed on this issue. We hope and believe in the best."

Sorokin's words carry echoes of the views of national team boss Valeri Karpin, who said on Monday that he hoped his side would be able to resume their bid to reach the finals.

International managerial newcomer Karpin had guided his side to the playoffs, in which they had been scheduled to host Poland in the semifinals on March 24.

Poland were given a bye because of Russia's suspension and will now be at home to Sweden on Tuesday in a decider that will seal qualification for one of the nations.

Both countries had publicly declared a boycott on playing Russia because of the conflict.

Russia last week made a surprise formal declaration of interest in hosting the UEFA European Championship in either 2028 or 2032.

Sokorin previously told Match TV that there were "no signs" of the RFU losing its membership. "In any case, we need to communicate with international federations and build relationships," he added.