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War In Ukraine: Russia Excluded From The 2022 Soccer World Cup

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FIFA and UEFA have decided to exclude Russia from the next World Cup in Qatar, following the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Russian clubs are also suspended from all international competitions.

UEFA and FIFA agreed on Monday afternoon, February 28, during an exceptional meeting, four days after the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. FIFA and UEFA then announced in a statement their decision to suspend the Russian national team and Russian soccer clubs until further notice in solidarity with Ukraine.

UEFA organizes the European qualifiers of the competition, while FIFA organizes the final phase of the World Cup. The Russian soccer team was to play the qualifying play-offs for the World Cup 2022 on March 24 against Poland in Moscow. By Friday, its opponents (Poland, Czech Republic, Sweden) had all announced their refusal to play against Russia.

Russia Banned From FIFA World Cup 2022

Russia excluded from the playoffs

This exclusion of the play-offs deprives de facto Russia of the World Cup 2022. A joint statement of the two authorities is expected at the end of the day. UEFA also noted the exclusion of the only Russian club still involved in the European Cup: Spartak Moscow will not play its round of 16 on March 10 and 17 against the Germans of Red Bull Leipzig.

On Sunday, FIFA had already decided to ban the Russian national team or Russian clubs from hosting an international match on their home turf, as the matches must be played on neutral ground. The body had also forced Russian footballers to play under a neutral banner and without a national anthem.

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