FIFA has enforced a ban that officially disqualifies Russia from the men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup 2022. In response to President Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine, FIFA and UEFA released a joint statement on February 28, 2022, informing the public that Russia has been effectively banned from the 2022 World Cup. The authorities also stated that its top clubs have been suspended from all international football competitions “until further notice.”

On March 24, 2022, Russia was scheduled to play against Poland in a World Cup playoff semifinal. If they had won, they would have advanced to the finals to face either Sweden or the Czech Republic. However, their three possible rivals said they would not participate in the games. Additionally, it implies that Russia will be unable to participate in the Women’s Euro 2022, which England will hold in July.

Poland, Sweden, and Czech Republic’s refusal to play against Russia caused pressure to mount on FIFA to act. Following the same path, the football organizations of England, Scotland, and Wales declared that they would also abstain from playing any matches with Russia.

At first, FIFA announced several “initial measures” that would have made Russia play home games at neutral stadiums. The team would have played under the name “Football Union of Russia” without the Russian flag or the national anthem, like the sanctions the International Olympic Committee imposed on the country for steroid abuse violations. At the time, FIFA, the world’s ruling body of football, refrained from outright banning it.

However, Polish football association President Cezary Kulesza criticized those actions as “absolutely inappropriate,” adding that Poland would not play Russia in its World Cup playoff “no matter what the title of the squad is.

The International Olympic Committee executive panel proposed on February 28, 2022, that Russian and Belarusian competitors be disqualified from competitions. According to the IOC, the executive panel made a choice “to safeguard the moral integrity of international sporting contests and for the protection of all contestants.”

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George is a football enthusiast who likes reading and writing news related to the football world. Contact: mickelclark.gt@gmail.com

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