FIFA impose strict sanctions on Russia but do not ban them as FA joins boycott

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FIFA has announced that Russia will be banned from playing matches at home, without spectators and without their national anthem or flag.

The country will also have to play under the name ‘Football Union of Russia’ and not as ‘Russia’, the governing body said.

FIFA have imposed strong sanctions on Russia

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FIFA have imposed strong sanctions on Russia

Russian tanks have been moving towards Kiev, which has so far repelled invading forces

AFP

Russian tanks have been moving towards Kiev, which has so far repelled invading forces

The decision comes on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, led by president Vladimir Putin, which has brought widespread condemnation.

Across sport, many other organisations have enforced actions on Russia with UEFA stripping the country of the Champions League final, and Formula 1 declaring there will be no grand prix in Sochi this season.

The Football Association also announced that England will not be playing them in any competitive or friendly game in the foreseeable future, joining a growing boycott.

Poland, who were due to play Russia in a World Cup qualifying play-off in Moscow next month, had already refused to do so as had the Czech Republic and Sweden – one of which would play the winner.

The FIFA statement read: “First and foremost, FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine.

“FIFA calls again for the urgent restoration of peace and for constructive dialogue to commence immediately. FIFA remains in close contact with the Ukrainian Association of Football and members of the Ukrainian football community who have been requesting support to leave the country for as long as the current conflict persists.


The war has left many people homeless, with Kiev, the capital, put on a weekend long curfew

AFP

The war has left many people homeless, with Kiev, the capital, put on a weekend long curfew

Poland, captained by Robert Lewandowski, have been very clear on their refusal to play Russia no matter what FIFA call them

AFP

Poland, captained by Robert Lewandowski, have been very clear on their refusal to play Russia no matter what FIFA call them

“To address football-related matters and in coordination with UEFA, the Bureau of the FIFA Council – involving the FIFA President and the six Confederation Presidents – has unanimously decided to take immediate first measures, in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and that will be applicable until further notice:

“No international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with “home” matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators.

“The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name “Football Union of Russia (RFU)” and not ‘Russia’.

“No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate.

“FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and other sport organisations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly. The Bureau of the FIFA Council remains on standby to take any of these decisions.

“Importantly, FIFA strongly believes that the sport movement should be united in its decisions on this topic and that sport should continue being a vector of peace and hope.

Putin’s actions have led to widespread condemnation

Getty

Putin’s actions have led to widespread condemnation

“With regard to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, FIFA has taken good note of the positions expressed via social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association and has already engaged in dialogue with all of these football associations. FIFA will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together.

“FIFA’s thoughts remain with everybody affected by this shocking and worrying situation.”

Finding any neutral venue may prove tricky and the Polish FA’s president, Cezary Kulesza, was quick to respond to the statement, writing on Twitter. “Today’s Fifa decision is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances.

“Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is.”

Meanwhile, the FA has said England will not be playing Russia at any level for the foreseeable future.

The FA’s statement read: “Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, the FA can confirm that we won’t play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future.

“This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football.”

Noël Le Graët, the president of the French Football Federation, suggested that Russia should be banned from the World Cup, telling Le Parisien he would ‘lean towards’ punishment for the nation.





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