- The IOC earlier called for all sporting competitions to remove Russian stars
- The committee has withdrawn the Olympic order from Vladimir Putin ‘considering the extremely grave violation of the Olympic Truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian government in the past’
- FIFA had been branded an ‘absolute disgrace’ for not throwing Russia out already
- Yet now FIFA have confirmed that Russia will not take part in their World Cup qualifying play-off against Poland on March 24
- It also means Russia will not compete at the women’s Euro 2022 in England this summer, with FIFA and UEFA completing talks today
Russia were cast into the sporting wilderness on Monday night with their athletes and national teams barred from international competitions with immediate effect.
On an extraordinary day which saw a rare display of unity from football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA:
- Russia were kicked out of the Qatar World Cup, with Poland given a bye to a play-off final against Sweden or Czech Republic later this month
- Russia were set to be kicked out of the women’s European Championship in England this summer
- Spartak Moscow were removed from the Europa League with RB Leipzig advancing to the quarter-finals, while UEFA also terminated a sponsorship deal worth £33.5million a year with Russian energy company Gazprom
- The International Olympic Committee recommended similar bans be introduced by all sports, with the possible exception of the Winter Paralympics due to the proximity of the Games, which begin in Beijing on Friday
- Russian domestic sport and leagues were permitted to continue.
‘FIFA and UEFA have today decided 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,’ read a joint statement.
‘Football is fully united and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both presidents of FIFA and UEFA hope the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace among people.’
Monday’s dramatic developments followed an earlier show of leadership from the IOC, which took the unprecedented step of recommending a worldwide sporting ban for Russian and Belarussian athletes and teams — rather than permitting them to participate as neutrals.
The IOC said they were acting to protect the integrity of international sport in the context of many Ukrainian athletes being unable to compete following Russia’s invasion.