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FIFA, UEFA suspend Russian clubs, national teams from all competitions

FIFA, UEFA suspend Russian clubs, national teams from all competitions
Monday, 28 February, 2022, 22:44

Football's world and European governing bodies, UEFA and FIFA, said on Monday that they had frozen all Russian club and national teams out of competitive fixtures until further notice.

"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," a joint statement published on UEFA's website said.

The measure, even if it ultimately proves comparatively short lived, could amount to excluding Russia from the World Cup.

Russia are scheduled to host Poland in a World Cup qualifying playoff on March 24 and if they remain suspended at that time, they will be out of the men's World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar in November.

The suspension would cover all Russian national teams – including the women's team, who are due to play in the Women's Euros in England in July.

The news comes a day after FIFA announced that in light of the Russian invasion, no international football matches would be played in the country in the forseeable future. On Sunday, though, FIFA had said that Russia would still be allowed to continue with their World Cup qualifying campaign.

FIFA had also said Russia would have to compete in under the name "Football Union of Russia (RFU)." No flag or anthem of Russia was to be used in matches featuring the Russian team. FIFA had made that announcement a day after Poland became the first country to act.

"We can't pretend that nothing is happening," the country's star striker Robert Lewandowski posted on Twitter. The Bayern Munich star was one of many Polish players to immediately back a decision from the Polish Football Association to boycott next month's World Cup playoff match against Russia. Other countries, including potential future playoff opponents Sweden and the Czech Republic as well as England and France, have since followed Poland's lead.