FIFA and UEFA suspend Russia - Teams face World Cup play-off and Europa League removal

Russia have been suspended from all UEFA and FIFA competitions, including the World Cup play-offs, the governing bodies have announced.

UEFA and FIFA have issued a joint statement on Russia's future participation in football (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
UEFA and FIFA have issued a joint statement on Russia's future participation in football (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
UEFA and FIFA have issued a joint statement on Russia's future participation in football (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Continental bosses UEFA and global governors FIFA have made the joint decision on a temporary expulsion for Russia from all club and national fixtures.

Both have removed Russia from all fixtures until "football can again be a vector for unity and peace" in a joint UEFA and FIFA statement that will further isolate Russia's sporting situation amid the invasion of Ukraine.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, 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 the 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 and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both presidents hope that the situation will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

Spartak Moscow's removal from the Europa League will hand R.B.Leipzig direct progression into the competition's quarter-finals.

European football bosses UEFA also confirmed the cessation of its sponsorship deals with Russian energy company Gazprom, worth around £34million a season.

"UEFA has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions," read a UEFA statement.

"The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024."

The suspension should put a stop to Russia's World Cup play-off semi-final next month.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The International Olympic Committee's executive board issued a recommendation to international sports federations earlier on Monday to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes, officials and teams from international competitions wherever possible.

That IOC executive board decision had been made "in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants" and effectively gave a green light to FIFA to go further than it previously had, and exclude Russia from the World Cup.

It is the strongest move taken yet by the international sports community to isolate Russia from global competition.

FIFA had faced criticism over its initial decision on Sunday night to allow Russia to continue to compete in the men's World Cup play-offs, but on neutral territory and under the Football Union of Russia banner.

Manchester City's Ukraine defender Oleksandr Zinchenko called for the exclusion of Russia from all international sports governing bodies and football's world players' union, FIFPRO, also called for the expulsion of the RFU.

"Russia's aggression and the united response of democracies around the world have shown that the defence of human dignity and the rule of law are being tested," a FIFPRO statement read.

"Football, and sport, has its own responsibility to respond in turn. Past policies of political neutrality have failed the test of time, and today must mark a turning-point for how sport engages with society, how it stands for democracy and human rights.

"A new approach, consistently applied, that rests on sport's proclaimed values is urgently needed."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today