Ukraine football chief wants Russia excluded from FIFA and UEFA
The Russian Football Union (RFU) could be excluded from world and European football federations FIFA and UEFA if they follow a demand made by the Ukrainian Football Association (UAF).
The two bodies have already banned Russian teams and clubs from international competitions when following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation made in late February as a response to the military operation in Ukraine.
As revealed by UAF President Andrey Pavelko on his Facebook page, the UAF has sent an “immediate appeal” to FIFA and UEFA “with a demand to apply the most stringent sanctions against the RFU.”
“Namely, we will demand the exclusion of Russia from UEFA and FIFA,” Pavelko confirmed.
Pavelko explained that the action has been taken due to the decision to allow teams from the new regions of Russia and Crimea to compete in Russian football leagues.
The regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, in addition to the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, became official parts of the Russian Federation last month after voters in the territories overwhelmingly supported the move in referendums.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko confirmed that clubs from the regions would be integrated into Russia’s leagues after the government came to a decision on the matter with the RFU, which has triggered the UAF’s appeal to take harsh and swift action.
The UAF’s request comes after Pavelko claimed that Russia would be excluded from qualifying for Euro 2024 in Germany ahead of UEFA confirming the decision.
“The Russians have nothing to prepare for,” Pavelko wrote in another social media message. “At least until 2024, they won’t be at official international football competitions.”
Pavelko had previously led calls for the Euro 2024 ban to be implemented, and also requested that UEFA and FIFA ban a planned friendly match between Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina that is scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg next month.
“We are doing everything possible to prevent the match from taking place,” Pavelko said.
Earlier this month, football officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina postponed a decision on whether they will go ahead with the match against Russia after rescheduling a meeting of their FA’s executive board until the end of October.