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© Alamy - Ukrainians Vitalli Mykolenko (Everton) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) embrace

Sporting sanctions against Russia increase

Yesterday’s news that FIFA and UEFA have suspended Russia’s club sides and national teams from international competition “until further notice” was warmly welcomed across the sporting world.

Unless the Russian government ends its invasion of Ukraine soon it seems likely that Russia’s World Cup qualifying campaign will not be completed while Spartak Moscow will be forced out of the Europa League. 

Nations League fixtures in June could be cancelled too, with Russia set to play Albania (twice), Israel and Iceland. 

Looking further ahead to July, the Women’s Euro 2022 may also be affected, although UEFA has said a decision will be made at a later date as to Russia’s involvement in the tournament. 

Last week UEFA had been one of the first sporting bodies to act when it moved the Champions League final, which takes place on Saturday 28th May, from St Petersburg to Paris. They have also terminated their multi-million Euro sponsorship deal with Russia’s state-owned gas suppliers, Gazprom.

The English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish FAs have also announced they will not play Russia in any international fixture for the foreseeable future.

Other sports

Many other sports have acted too, with the International Olympic Committee urging all sports bodies to ban athletes from Russia or Belarus, and to stop using either nation’s flag or national anthem. 

There may be an exemption for competitors at the upcoming Winter Paralympics due to its “imminent” nature but athletes would not compete under their nation’s name.

The Russian F1 Grand Prix has been cancelled while the International Judo Federation suspended Russian president Vladimir Putin from its ranks. 

The International Chess Federation has spoken out and international Russian-based events in badminton, swimming, skiing and volleyball have been moved.

What does the FSA think?

FSA chair Malcolm Clarke:

“The unity shown by major sporting institutions is very important in making clear to Putin and Russia that the world abhors its invasion of Ukraine.

“Football fans in this country have made clear their solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and we support the suspension of Russian teams and national sides from international competition.”

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