FIFA to Ban Russia Russia From International Competition, World Cup Qualifying [Photo]

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association—or FIFA—will ban Russia from international competition, preventing its national team from qualifying for this year’s World Cup.

via: New York Post

A day after instituting sanctions that did not include banning Russia from competition, FIFA on Monday suspended Russian soccer teams from international competition after the country invaded Ukraine. UEFA also suspended Russian teams from competition.

FIFA initially announced Sunday that Russia’s home games would be moved to neutral venues and the team would be referred to as the “Football Union of Russia,” while banning the country’s flag and national anthem.

The decision came after Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic said they will refuse to play Russia in the upcoming men’s World Cup qualifying playoffs.

Russia was scheduled to host Poland in a playoff semifinal on March 24, with the winner facing the winner of the Sweden-Czech Republic game on March 29 for a spot in the 2022 World Cup. If Russia’s suspension continues through the semifinals, they will be out of the World Cup, according to Reuters.

The Russian women’s team would also be banned from playing in the UEFA Euro 2022 tournament this summer in England if the suspension remains in place.

The International Olympic Committee recommended banning Russia and Belarus from international competitions on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian men’s soccer team is set to play Scotland in Glasgow in a semifinal on March 24. There are three groups of four teams in the UEFA World Cup playoffs, with the winners earning the final three spots in the World Cup.

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