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Russia have been kicked out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by FIFA after the world governing body and the European association, UEFA, issued a joint statement to confirm that all Russian national teams and clubs have been suspended until further notice following the invasion of Ukraine.
Amid growing pressure from European nations and the International Olympic Committee, FIFA and UEFA confirmed Monday that Russia would have no involvement in the upcoming World Cup playoffs — Russia were due to play Poland in a semifinal ahead of a potential final versus Sweden or the Czech Republic in March — and that the Russia women’s team would be removed from the European Championships due to be staged in England in July.
Spartak Moscow have also been removed from the Europa League, meaning round of 16 opponent RB Leipzig will be handed a bye to the quarterfinals of the competition.
In a further move, UEFA confirmed that it was canceling its deal with sponsor Gazprom — the Russian energy company — which is worth €40 million a year to the organization.
UEFA’s decision comes after Saint Petersburg was stripped of the hosting rights to this season’s Champions League final, with Paris stepping in following the move to take the showpiece fixture away from the Russian city.
In a statement, FIFA and UEFA said: “Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together 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.
“These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters.
“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents 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.”
Decisions by FIFA and UEFA can typically be challenged on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. The Football Union of Russia said in a statement that it would “reserve the right to challenge” the decision.
“I feel sorry for my boys,” said Russia coach Valery Karpin. “They were dreaming about playing at the World Cup. Now their hope is gone.”
Commenting on the decision to cut ties with Gazprom, UEFA said: “UEFA has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions.
“The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024.” U.S. Soccer issued a statement on Monday to join other soccer federations in refusing to play Russia.