FIFA is in “advanced talks” to suspend the Russian national team from international competitions, including the World Cup after the invasion of Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the talks told AFP on Monday. The source said Russia would be banned from the World Cup “unless the situation improves”. The Russian team will face Poland in the semi-finals of the World Cup qualifier on March 24, and will face Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 for a place in the final in Qatar later this year.
FIFA announced on Sunday that Russian teams can continue to play under the name of the Russian Football Association, play home games at a neutral venue and behind closed doors, and with a ban on the Russian flag and the national anthem.
Those measures were dismissed as “totally unacceptable” by Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza, who added that Poland would not play their World Cup play-off with Russia “regardless of the team’s name.”
Sweden and the Czech Republic followed suit, with Swedish FA chief Karl-Erik Nilsson saying he was “displeased” with FIFA’s decision.
The draw for the World Cup will take place in Doha on April 1, and the tournament will take place in November and December.
The International Olympic Committee on Monday called on sports organizers to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from international events “to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all participants”.
UEFA, which last week stripped the Russian city of St Petersburg from this season’s Champions League final and moved the game to Paris, now has to decide whether to exclude Russia from the women’s European Championship.
Russia will play in their group against the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland in July in the tournament with 16 teams in England.
Spartak Moscow also threatens to be kicked out of the Europa League.
They are scheduled to face RB Leipzig of Germany next month in the last 16.
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