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FIFA suspends Russia from World Cup, international competitions

Chicago
World Cup trophy
The championship trophy on display before the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018.
USA TODAY

Russian national teams and clubs have been suspended from all competitions, including the upcoming 2022 World Cup.

The announcement came Monday in a joint statement by FIFA, soccer's global governing body, and UEFA, the sport's European governing body, amid increased pressure to sanction Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

"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," FIFA and UEFA said in the statement.

"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."

The suspensions come weeks before Russia was scheduled to play against Poland on March 24 in a semifinal qualifying matchup for the World Cup in Qatar, which begins in November. FIFA faced backlash Sunday after initially ruling that Russia would be permitted to compete without its flag and anthem and under the name of its federation, the Football Union of Russia.

 

The governing bodies took a much harder stance against Russia on Monday.

UEFA also canceled its sponsorship deal with Gazprom, a Russian energy company.