FIFA made a historic but controversial decision: it excluded all Russian teams and their national teams from all competition. Soccer’s supreme governing body was tougher on Russia than it had ever been on any war-torn country in the competition.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
Russia’s expulsion, decided by both FIFA and UEFA, opened a break in the European play-off for a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 scheduled for the end of March.
The Russian team had to face Poland in what would be the first of the two matches that the European teams must overcome to reach the World Cup, but the world body deleted Russia because of its war conflict with Ukraine.
FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia from all international football, including the men’s 2022 World Cup and women’s Euro 2022. pic.twitter.com/ZdxVTnMBf2
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 28, 2022
Therefore, Poland is without an opponent pending the final decision to be taken by FIFA in this regard, although everything points to the fact that Robert Lewandowski’s team will have no opponent in view of Russia’s forced withdrawal and, thus, would have a guaranteed place in the final, as pointed out from Zurich.
The final decision may not belong in coming, but all the news coming out of FIFA headquarters are moving in the sense that Poland will have no opponent in this first round and will remain to wait for the winner of the Czech Republic-Sweden tie, which will go ahead, as scheduled from the beginning.
Today’s FIFA decision is totally unacceptable. We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is.
— Cezary Kulesza (@Czarek_Kulesza) February 27, 2022
The winner of this match will be Poland’s opponent. The decision may become official in the next few hours.
The other options, such as giving place to Slovakia, third classified of the qualifying group in which Russia was, or looking for the best third of Europe as a rival, have lost strength and from FIFA believe that the best decision is to go ahead as scheduled, but without the Russian presence.
The same happened in the case of the Europa League and RB Leipzig, whose rival was Spartak Moscow, expelled from the competition, as has happened with the Russian team.
If FIFA can expel Russia from the 2022 football World Cup, what was stopping the ICC from expelling Pakistan for Kargil, 26/11 & more recent events?
— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) March 1, 2022
The German team, therefore, has already qualified for the quarterfinals of the second European competition.
In the next few days, it will be known what happens with the Russian youth teams, as well as what happens with the women’s national team, which has a place at the European Championship.
Russia’s U19s were due to play in the quadrangular qualifiers for the European Championship in Slovakia in 2022, but they are still a question mark.
Seems no Russia at Women Euros & no Tyumen in Champions League Final Four. However, RFU respond "We reserve the right to challenge the decision of FIFA and UEFA in accordance with international sports law." So Russia might fight in the legal courts to play on the futsal courts. https://t.co/PBkZOVQ74j
— Doug Reed (@DougReedFutsal) February 28, 2022
The exclusion of Russian teams and national teams have a double impact on futsal. The closest case is the European women’s championship, whose semifinals are to be played on March 25 in Gondomar, Portugal, and where Russia was paired with the local team, while the other key is precisely Ukraine.
The Final Four of the Women’s Champions League is scheduled for the last weekend of April in Riga, Latvia, with Russia’s Tyumen among the four participants, along with Barcelona, Sporting Portugal, and Benfica.
Sponsors pulled out of Russia
In the midst of the war, many companies got off the Russian boat and left the country without foreign investors.
Such is the case of Adidas, which dressed the Russian national team for the last 14 years and decided to break off relations despite invoicing 2.9% of its profits in those lands.
Gazprom, one of the most important Russian companies, suffered the loss of its main sponsorship: UEFA decided to end its relationship and will no longer appear in the Champions League or EUROCOPA.
Adidas has suspended its current deal to make uniforms for the Russian National team, according to the @AssociatedPress.
Adidas has been a partner of Russia since 2008. Their deal runs through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/q0CQu6LLOX
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 1, 2022
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