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Both the men’s and women’s national teams from Russia have been banned from all competition, FIFA announced. Spartak Moscow has also been banned from continuing on in the Europa League Tournament.
Russian military forces made a coordinated attack on Ukraine from land, sea and air on February 24th. Over 5,000 are reported to have been killed since the conflict began.
FIFA had originally had stated that Russia would not play it World Cup Qualifiers at home, it’s flag not be displayed, nor the national anthem be played and would participate under the Football Union of Russia. After backlash from Poland, Russia’s would be opponent in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier playoff match, and other European football associations, FIFA made the hasty decision to disqualify Russia Men’s team from World Cup playoffs.
The Russian women’s team was scheduled to play in the 2022 Euros but also fell under FIFA’s ban and will not participate in Tournament being held in England this year. They were also disqualified from participating in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, they sat in second place with 15 points after six matches just three points behind Group E leaders Denmark.
In a statement, FIFA and UEFA said: “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.
“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 here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”
The UEFA Champions League also severed ties with it major corporate sponsor and Russian Energy Company, Gazprom. A sponsorship deal reported to be around 40 million Euros per year.
“UEFA has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions.
“The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024.”
In England, Russian billionaire and owner of the English Premier League’s Chelsea Roman Abramovich is stepping aside from ownership and has called upon to mediate talks between Russian and Ukrainian governments. Abramovich may be finding himself in some hot water though, in the methods how the ownership is being passed on to stewardship and care of six trustees.
The United States Soccer Federation also released a statement: “The U.S. Soccer Federation stands united with the people of Ukraine and is unequivocal in our denunciation of the heinous and inhumane invasion by Russia. We will neither tarnish our global game, nor dishonor Ukraine, by taking the same field as Russia, no matter the level of competition or circumstance, until freedom and peace have been restored. #WeStandWithUkraine”.
Throughout history, conflict and soccer have been connected. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad as it has caused conflict. Right now the soccer world is coming together in a new chapter of conflict to make a statement.