FIFA has kicked Russia out of the qualifying play-offs for the 2022 World Cup on March 24 after the IOC called for international competitions to eliminate Russian athletes following their country’s attacks on Ukraine.
Russia’s national teams have been banned from joining football competitions by FIFA and UEFA until further notice.
According to reports, the Russian men’s national team was set to play against Poland, who confirmed that they would boycott the match in support of Ukraine.
FIFA and UEFA’s decision sees Russians kicked out of World Cup qualification in a U-turn move after initially announcing that Valeri Karpin’s side would still be allowed to join in the play-offs.
But their semi-final opponents, Poland, immediately slammed the initial decision and confirmed over the weekend that they would boycott the match.
A joint statement read: “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.”
The statement continued: “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.”
UEFA have also canceled their sponsorship deal with Russian gas company Gazprom, which has been in place for a decade.
In a letter sent out on Sunday, President of Poland’s football federation Cezary Kulesza said: “We believe that other federations should join our position. That is why I asked for such a document to be prepared and distributed. We appealed for solidarity and the response has been very strong.”
It added: “Several federations, such as England, Albania, Denmark, Norway and Wales, have already officially announced that they will not play against the Russians either. This is a very uplifting attitude.”
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!