FIFA will recommend neutral but not banned site for Russia

In the face of growing pressure to take action against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, the leadership of world football’s governing body on Sunday agreed on a series of measures that will come into effect for the playoffs. -off Russia’s important World Cup qualifier next month. But the proposals – including a ban on Russia’s name, flag and anthem and a neutral website for the country’s games – rule out an outright ban on the Russian national team its opponents are playing. claim, making it unclear whether the penalties will resolve the confrontation, or if the games will be played at all.

Russia was held to a draw against Poland in March as part of a group of four for one of Europe’s final spots at the World Cup in Qatar later this year. Should Russia win that match, they will face Sweden or the Czech Republic for a spot in Qatar when the tournament opens in November. Russia’s first match and potential second, for now. , scheduled to take place in Moscow.

Three other countries are involved – first, PolandLater Sweden and the Czech Republic – All refuse to play Russia under any circumstances to protest Russia’s aggression towards neighboring Ukraine. Several top players, including Poland’s Robert Lewandowski, the reigning FIFA world champion, supported the decision to boycott any games involving Russia.

On Sunday, a group of FIFA’s top leaders sought to get out of the crisis by agreeing to punish Russia by ordering its team to be allowed to play but only at a neutral venue. ; has no flag or its national anthem; and only if their team agrees to be known by a different name, according to three senior football officials familiar with the negotiations. These people declined to speak publicly ahead of an announcement, which could come as early as Sunday night.

These measures reflect some of the penalties imposed by the International Olympic Committee on Russian teams after Russia was caught running a large state-sponsored doping program; those punishments have been derided by many athletes and Olympic officials from other countries as inappropriate.

They also may not be enough to convince Russia’s opponents to agree to share the pitch with a Russian team and put FIFA in the uncomfortable position of expelling three of its members while still allowing Russia to advance to the World Cup, football event.

FIFA declined to comment on the proposed penalties against Russia, or the objections of three other federations, who have announced they will not compete. Senior football officials say FIFA’s measures are only the first step in actions against the country’s football teams, and a harsher punishment – most likely an outright ban for Russian teams participating in FIFA competitions – may apply if Russia continues to attack Ukraine.

The Russian Football Federation, meanwhile, refuse even hinted that it wouldn’t play games, or games, as scheduled in Moscow. The federation, known as the RFU, said it would continue to prepare for the matches.

“Currently, the RFU has not received any information from FIFA regarding the possibility of postponing or canceling the World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 24 and 29 in Moscow,” Russian Federation said. “We do not see any legal grounds for canceling the playoff match between the Russian national team and Poland and the subsequent meeting with Sweden or the Czech Republic. RFU continues to prepare for these games. ”

Russia, its top leaders and a number of wealthy individuals and companies have been targeted by the West with severe penalties that have had an immediate impact on life in the country, including a ban on air travel. aircraft of Russian airlines to most regions of Europe. That ban will most likely make it difficult to find a venue for any match involving the Russian team.

Russia is already widely regarded as a genius in international sports after a years-long state-backed doping program derailed a series of international sporting events, including world championships and championships. many Olympics.

If the Russian team qualifies for the World Cup – and if allowed to compete at the tournament – it will not be allowed to use its flag, play its national anthem or be known by its common name. under an existing set of penalties enacted two years ago by the global anti-fraud regulator. Those penalties do not include qualifying games. FIFA will recommend neutral but not banned site for Russia

Fry Electronics Team

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