FIFA Bans Russia from Soccer World Cup
Governing body reverses course, issues ban over Ukraine invasion
The international soccer governing body FIFA has banned Russia from competing in the World Cup.
Soccer is the most important and most popular sport in Russia.
FIFA issued a statement confirming that Russia will be banned from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The European association, UEFA, also confirmed that Russia will be banned from all competitions "until further notice."
FIFA and UEFA issued a joint statement about Russia's suspension, ESPN reported.
“Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures,” the statement reads.
"FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice," the statement continues.
"These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters,” FIFA added.
"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.
"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,” the statement said.
FIFA added that the ban was effective immediately.
The decision comes only a day after FIFA had insisted that it would not ban the Russian national team from the tournament.
FIFA’s initial ruling was that the team would have to play under the name “RFU,” or the “Russian Football Union.”
They could neither use Russia’s flag nor its national anthem.
UEFA also announced that it was canceling its deals with Russian energy giant, Gazprom.
FIFA’s decision also comes on the heels of announcements by the British, Polish, Swedish, and Czech soccer federations that they intended to boycott games against Russia.