Fifa and have banned Russian football clubs and national teams from all tournaments following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

They will be banned “until further notice,” according to the world and European football regulatory organisations.

The Russian men’s squad will not compete in the World Cup play-offs next month, while the Russian women’s team has been barred from competing in the Euro 2022 competition this summer.

Spartak Moscow has also been eliminated from the Europa League, while RB Leipzig, their last-16 opponents, has advanced to the quarter-finals.

Uefa’s partnership of Russian energy company Gazprom has also come to an end.

In a joint statement, Fifa and Uefa declared, “Football is entirely united here and in full sympathy with all those impacted in Ukraine.”

“Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine improves dramatically and quickly so that football may once again serve as a vehicle for people-to-people solidarity and peace.”

After Russia, backed by Belarus, launched a military invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, Fifa and Uefa decided to intervene.

On March 24, the Russian men’s team was supposed to play Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final.

The RFU, the regulatory body of Russian football, stated that it “categorically disagreed” with the decision and that it will appeal it “in accordance with international sports law.”

Russia’s forthcoming games must be played in neutral territory, under the name Football Union of Russia, and without their flag or anthem, according to Fifa.

The announcement, however, prompted controversy, and Scotland and the Republic of Ireland joined a number of other countries in rejecting to play against Russia, including England, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as well as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.

Northern Ireland’s European Under-21 Championship qualification group includes Russia, and their match in March has been cancelled.

Rod Petrie, the president of the Scottish FA, wrote to his Ukrainian counterpart on Monday to “deliver a message of support, friendship, and unity,” with the two countries set to meet in a World Cup play-off semi-final on March 24.

The 2022 Champions League final, which was initially scheduled for May 28 in St Petersburg, has been shifted to Paris, and a number of clubs have taken steps to distance themselves from Russia.

Manchester United has ended its sponsorship agreement with Russian airline Aeroflot, while Bundesliga club Schalke has ended its relationship with key sponsor Gazprom, having removed the Russian energy company’s insignia off its shirts last week.

“I don’t see why it took them 24 hours to make this decision,” Jim Boyce, former Fifa vice-president and honorary life president of the Irish Football Association, stated on BBC Radio Ulster.

What is going on is completely unacceptable. To be honest, any sanction that can be imposed on Russia right now must be implemented. I congratulate Fifa and Uefa on their decision reached today.”

“The whole globe has to be compact and show [it] is firm against the foolishness of the people,” Tottenham manager Antonio Conte said on Monday.

“I believe it is appropriate to express our unhappiness with some of the decisions,” he continued. Football and Uefa must be compact and demonstrate their strength.”

By 12news World

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