FIFA have finally come out and ‘suspended’ Russia from all international football until further notice. What that effectively means is that Russia are not playing the World Cup in Qatar if situations and sentiments don’t drastically improve in the next few days (the match against Poland is on March 24, 2022).
Poland took the initiative when a couple of days ago, they said that they would not be facing Russia in the World Cup qualifiers. As a response, FIFA initially said that Russia will have to play their games in neutral venues, but given the outrage, the organisation has wisely taken the decision to suspend them entirely.
After all, it would have been an injustice of the worst kind if Poland were made to relinquish their chance of making it to the World Cup just because they stood up for their principles.
It’s not only the Russian international team though, all clubs from Russia are suspended from continental tournaments as confirmed by UEFA, “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,” a joint statement issued by FIFA and UEFA on Monday signalled.
“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.”
Solidarity, that’s the important thing here. You can’t expect to invade a country and not have consequences.
The global community has unanimously stood with Ukraine and while it is unfortunate that the Russian athletes have to face some of the consequences, it is what it is sadly. Football fans in Russia saw their country make it to the quarter-finals of the last edition despite the lack of any superstar names. There won’t be a repeat though.