FIFA kicks Russia out of World Cup

Russia will be barred from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and other international sports competitions after FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) levied extraordinary sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

FIFA, football’s world governing body, and UEFA, the sport’s European governing body, announced that they have banned all Russian national teams and clubs from all competitions “until further notice.”

The suspension will likely remove Russia from next month’s World Cup qualifying playoffs, and end its hopes of earning a berth at the most prestigious tournament in international sport.

FIFA had come under fire from the football community after previously stating that Russian players could compete as the Football Union of Russia (RFU) and any ‘home’ games would be held with no fans on “neutral territory” and with no national anthem or Russian flags present.

Poland said it would refuse to play against Russia “no matter what the name of the team is”, with the president of Poland’s football federation, Cezary Kulesza, calling FIFA’s decision “disgraceful” and “totally unacceptable.”

Following overwhelming pressure from the rest of the world, FIFA finally moved to act.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” the joint FIFA-UEFA statement said.

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