Updated: Mar 5, 2022
Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images
Two of the most prominent soccer league’s in the world in FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), and UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) announced today that all Russian teams will be banned from both FIFA and UEFA competition until further notice amid the war in Ukraine.
This announcement came just a little over a week ago. Furthermore, men’s and women’s teams in Spartak Moscow, of the UEFA were scheduled to play RZ Leipzig in the Europa League in Germany on March 10th and second leg on March 17th, according to Matias Grez of CNN https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/28/football/fifa-and-uefa-ban-all-russian-teams-from-competitions-spt-intl/index.html .
This ban also removes Russia from being able to qualify for the World Cup, which is set to take place in Qatar this summer. FIFA’s decision came hours after the IOC (International Olympic Committee) emphasized sports organizers to “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions."
In the aftermath of the events, FIFA and the UEFA joined other national governments and international organizations that have punished Russia for commencing a war that has already taken hundreds of lives. According to Yahoo Sports, https://sports.yahoo.com/russia-world-cup-fifa-ban-war-ukraine-165442530.html the “Ukraine health ministry stated on Sunday that 352 civilians, including 14 children, had been killed since the beginning of the invasion. Foreign officials have condemned the deadly use of force, and branded it a war without a cause.”
FIFA made an announcement stating, "Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. [We] 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."
The chastising of Russia doesn’t stop there, as the UEFA confirmed that it was canceling its deal with Gazprom, a sponsor that is a Russian energy company that is worth $40 million a year to the organization. This decision of the UEFA canceling the sponsor with Gazprom also affects Russia’s UEFA national team competitions, UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO 2024.
FIFA retreated from its earlier decision after they faced backlash for allowing Russian international national teams to continue playing their schedules, with the president of the Polish Football Association previously calling it “disgraceful.” Since FIFA and the UEFA have banned Russia, it is most likely going to be a long time until the country that caused this uproar with Ukraine will be able to be reinstated back into their respective national soccer leagues.