No World Cup ban yet for Russia, but team can’t use flag, anthem


FIFA backed away from instantly expelling Russia from World Cup qualifying on Sunday however mentioned it remained an choice, deciding as a substitute the squad can play utilizing the “RFU” acronym of its soccer federation, the Russian Soccer Union.

The unanimous ruling by the Bureau of the FIFA Council, which incorporates the six regional soccer confederation presidents, was additionally that the Russian flag and anthem cannot be related to the group.

“FIFA will proceed its ongoing dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and different sport organizations to find out any extra measures or sanctions,” FIFA mentioned in an announcement, “together with a possible exclusion from competitions, that shall be utilized within the close to future ought to the scenario not be enhancing quickly.”

The choice adopts the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport ruling earlier than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, punishing Russia’s cover-up of the investigation into state-sponsored doping. Below that ruling, the Russians needed to compete on the previous two Olympics because the Russian Olympic Committee group. FIFA had stalled implementing the ban on Russia competing below its identify till a possible qualification for the World Cup.

FIFA additionally mentioned the RFU group can solely play on impartial territory and with out spectators.

The president of the Polish soccer affiliation, Cezary Kulesza, reacted angrily to FIFA’s decision, reiterating the affiliation’s resolution to refuse to play Russia of their World Cup qualification playoff semifinal, which is scheduled for March 24.

“At the moment’s FIFA resolution is unacceptable to us,” Kulesza mentioned. “Within the scenario of the battle in Ukraine, we’re not within the recreation of appearances.

“Our place stays the identical: the Polish nationwide group WILL NOT PLAY in opposition to Russia within the playoff match, whatever the identify of the Russian group.”

The winner of the playoff is because of host Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 to resolve who advances to the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 World Cup finals in Qatar. Nevertheless, each nations had mentioned previous to FIFA’s resolution they might refuse to play Russia.

The Polish FA wrote to FIFA in a while Sunday to formally reject the governing physique’s resolution.

“The Polish Soccer Affiliation inform that on account of the brutal aggression of the Russian Federation in opposition to Ukraine and the battle that continues there, we don’t see any risk of competing with the Russian nationwide group in play-off matches for promotion to the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 whatever the identify of the group consisting of Russian footballers and the place of the match,” it mentioned.

Individually, the English Soccer Affiliation introduced that its nationwide groups would refuse to play Russia for the “foreseeable future.” Russia has certified for the Ladies’s European Championship, which is being hosted by England in June.

The English FA mentioned the choice was taken “out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being dedicated by the Russian management.”

The RFU’s president is Aleksandr Dyukov, who’s chief govt of a subsidiary of state-owned vitality large Gazprom and in addition sits on the UEFA govt committee.

On Sunday, France soccer federation president Noel Le Graet advised the Le Parisien newspaper that he was leaning towards excluding Russia from the World Cup.

“The world of sport, and particularly soccer, can’t stay impartial,” mentioned Le Graet, who sits on the ruling FIFA Council and has lately been an in depth ally of the governing physique’s president, Gianni Infantino.

A strict studying of FIFA’s World Cup rules would make the Polish, Swedish and Czech federations liable to disciplinary motion and required to pay fines and compensation if they don’t play Russia.

In 1992, nevertheless, FIFA and UEFA eliminated Yugoslavia from its competitions following United Nations sanctions imposed when battle broke out within the Balkans.

The FIFA Bureau, which is chaired by Infantino, consists of UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

UEFA on Friday pulled the 2022 Champions League ultimate from Saint Petersburg, shifting it to Paris, and mentioned Russian and Ukrainian groups in its competitions should play house video games in impartial nations. UEFA allowed Spartak Moscow to proceed taking part in within the second-tier Europa League’s spherical of 16.



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