clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FIFA plans to ban Russia just before World Cup qualifying

After backlash, FIFA will suspend the Russian men’s team from World Cup competition.

Felipe Anderson of SS Lazio wears a ‘Stop the war’ T-shirts referring to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine as they arrive to warm-up prior to the Serie A match between SS Lazio and SSC Napoli at Stadio Olimpico on February 27, 2022 in Rome, Italy. Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images

After Russia invaded the Ukraine, many wanted FIFA to expel Russian men’s team from World Cup qualifying, but instead the organization only ordered the country to play without its flag and anthem at neutral venues under the name of its federation — the Football Union of Russia. There was immediate backlash from this decision, with Poland saying they would refuse to play Russia in their World Cup playoff semifinal on March 24th.

The backlash appears to have worked, as FIFA has now decided to ban the country, per The New York Times. The actual ban has not gone into effect yet, but is expected to be formalized later today. This suspension could also impact the women’s team when they are scheduled to play in UEFA’s Euro 2022 competition in England in July.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board has also recommended that international sports federations ban Russian athletes. It appears that as long as the Russian aggression in the Ukraine persists, the country’s athletes will likely be banned from any international competition.