FIFA set to suspend Russia from internationals: Source

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FIFA is set to suspend Russia’s national teams from international football until further notice due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters on Monday.

FIFA is in advanced talks with European soccer body UEFA over the matter and a decision could be made later on Monday.

European governing body UEFA is due to hold an executive committee meeting at 1800 CET on Monday to decide on several issues relating to Russian football.

Russia are scheduled to host Poland in a World Cup qualifying playoff on March 24 and if they remained suspended at that time, they would be out of the World Cup and unable to progress to the finals in Qatar in November.

The Polish FA had said that they will refuse to play against the Russian team and the Czech Republic and Sweden, who are in the same playoff ‘path’, have also ruled out facing Russia.

The suspension would cover all Russian national teams and could impact the country’s women’s team are due to play in UEFA’s Euro 2022 competition in England in July.

Earlier on Monday, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board recommended that international sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competing in events.

FIFA had been criticised on Sunday after a statement that Russia could continue to play matches albeit in neutral venues and only under the name ‘Football Union of Russia’.

Although FIFA had warned the country could be excluded from competitions if the situation in Ukraine did not improve, the statement was widely criticised with the Polish FA saying the stance was “totally unacceptable”.

England’s Football Association then said that they would not play against Russia, a view that was backed up by a number of European federations.

Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018 with the final held in Moscow attended by President Vladimir Putin.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.


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