Following Vladimir Putin’s decision for Russia to invade Ukraine on February 24, the world of football now faces a variety of implications that could disrupt its already hectic schedule.
The military invasion has left the Russian national team and Russian clubs banned by FIFA and UEFA respectively from all competitions until further notice.
In a statement, FIFA have said: “Including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly.”
This decision has had a knock-on effect all over Europe, with clubs being knocked out of competitions and crucial World Cup play-off games now in doubt.
Various outlets have reported that the English FA have held private conversations with UEFA and FIFA, urging them to ban Russia from the upcoming men’s World Cup and Women’s Euros.
But the saga doesn’t end there.
The English, Scottish and Welsh FAs have all publicly stated they will refuse to play Russia at any level, even if they have a changed name.
That would make things for this year’s World Cup in Qatar very challenging.
Should any of these nations be drawn against Russia, it looks possible they will refuse to play them.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Polish FA also refuse to play against Russia.
The two teams are due to face each other later this month in a crucial game with the winner facing Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place in the World Cup finals in November.
The Polish FA have also called for Russia to be banned from this year’s World Cup.
Right now it seems like the necessary action needed to minimize complications football is currently facing.
Poland didn’t stop they’re in the efforts to isolate Russia from football.
They have written to all 55 European football associations, urging them to declare they will not play against Russia.
Sweden and Czech Republic have also insisted along with Poland, they will not play against Russia, leaving the up coming play offs up in the air.
A spokesperson for the Czech Republic FA said: “The position of the Czech FA and the Czech national football team remains the same even if Russia could play the match on neutral ground, without a flag, anthem or under the banner of the Football Union of Russia.”
With these nations showing just how serious they are in their refusal to play Russia, it is hard to see a world in which Russia manage to make it to the World Cup Finals in Qatar later this year.
FIFA said it had engaged with the three associations and would remain in “close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together.”
(Featured image byИлья Хохлов/Ilya Khokhlov/Ilja Chochłow under creative commons licence)