Russia suspended by FIFA, faces possible World Cup ban

Feb 28 2022, 5:54 pm

The host of the last FIFA World Cup could be banned from the next one.

Less than four years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in awarding the World Cup, following the final match in Moscow. Now, it seems unlikely that his country will even be allowed to even participate.

Russia has been suspended from all FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice, the two organizations announced today. The decisions, which were adopted by the FIFA Council and UEFA Executive Committee, will affect all international matches by Russian national teams, as well as Russian club teams.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine,” FIFA said in a media release. “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.”

Poland, Sweden, and Czechia stated publicly that they would refuse to play Russia in upcoming World Cup qualifying matches, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia was scheduled to participate in a four-team playoff with those three countries next month.

If Russia is not allowed to play those matches, it won’t be able to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, which begins in Qatar this November.

Canada Soccer also released a statement on Monday, condemning Russia for waging war on Ukraine.

“Canada Soccer, its member associations and clubs will not compete at any level against Russia until sovereignty and territorial integrity are restored,” the statement reads. “We wholeheartedly condemn the hostile attack on Ukraine by Russia and stand united with Ukrainians here in Canada and around the globe.”

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