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FIFA, UEFA ban Russia from world football: How football is taking action over Ukraine invasion

FIFA and UEFA have suspended the Russian national team and Russian clubs from all competitions until further notice; England, Scotland, Wales and Republic of Ireland were among the countries refusing to play Russia due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine

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FIFA are in advanced talks over suspending the Russian national team.

FIFA and UEFA have suspended the Russian national team and Russian clubs from all competitions until further notice.

Prior to Monday's announcement, a number of European associations said they would refuse to play against Russia, including the Polish, Swedish and Czech federations, who are part of a four-team World Cup play-off draw with Russia.

It remains a fast-developing story, but what has been said so far and who are taking action? Sky Sports provides an overview of the current landscape with Russia set to be suspended until further notice...

FIFA and UEFA joint statement

FIFA and UEFA said in a statement on Monday evening: "Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, 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.

"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.

"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."

Spartak Moscow out of Europa League

The Europa League last-16 matches between Spartak Moscow and RB Leipzig have been called off, UEFA confirmed on Monday, after it suspended Russia's national club and teams from all competitions.

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"The UEFA Europa League matches between RB Leipzig and FC Spartak Moskva cannot take place, and, as a consequence, RB Leipzig are qualified to the quarter-finals of the competition," UEFA said in a statement.

FA: Russia must be banned from World Cup and Women's Euros

FIFA are in advanced talks about suspending Russia
Image: FIFA are in advanced talks about suspending Russia

The English FA had held private conversations with UEFA and FIFA, urging them to ban Russia from the upcoming men's World Cup and Women's Euros.

The English, Scottish and Welsh FAs confirmed publicly on Monday they will refuse to play matches against Russia at any level of the game - whether or not they play under a changed name.

FIFA announced on Sunday that Russia would play matches under the name the "Football Union of Russia" led to anger among many European football authorities, who felt such measures are inadequate in the face of Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine.

The English FA shared that opinion, and made it clear to both UEFA and FIFA that it thought expulsion for Russia was the only proper course of action.

England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland, N Ireland refuse to play Russia

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday it is inconceivable normal sporting relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia can continue following the invasion of Ukraine

The English FA had earlier said that its teams will not be playing Russia under any guise - including under a new name as suggested by FIFA.

The decision has been made "out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership", the England FA said in a statement.

It indicated England will refuse to play Russia in both the World Cup in Qatar and the Women's Euros this summer, should the sides be drawn against each other.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said it "stands in solidarity with Ukraine and feels an extreme amount of sadness and shock to the recent developments in the country".

The Scottish Football Association has confirmed that Scotland will not play any fixtures against Russia for the foreseeable future.

Scottish FA president Rob Petrie has also offered to help the Ukraine national team prepare for the World Cup play-off at Hampden on March 24.

The Football Association of Ireland also released a statement on Monday offering its "full and unequivocal support" to the Ukrainian federation and saying its teams would not face Russia at any level until further notice.

The Republic of Ireland men's team are due to face Ukraine twice in June in the UEFA Nations League. The match in Dublin is due to be played on June 4 before the return match on June 14, which - as things stand - would be played on neutral territory.

The FAI has said it will be as "flexible and accommodating as possible" over the staging of those two matches.

Northern Ireland have added their name to the countries pledging a boycott of fixtures against Russian teams.

"The Irish FA convened an extraordinary meeting of its board today and
confirmed that Northern Ireland will not compete in any fixtures for its international teams or those affiliated at club level, should the situation arise, against Russian teams for the foreseeable future," read an Irish Football Association statement.

"This includes the home UEFA U21 Euro qualifier scheduled for Tuesday, March 29.

"On behalf of everyone connected to the Irish FA, and indeed the wider football family in Northern Ireland, we send a strong message of support to our friends in Ukraine during this period."

PM: Well done FIFA and UEFA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed FIFA and UEFA's action, having previously called for them to take a stronger stance.

"This is a powerful message from the international sporting community that we will not tolerate Putin's abhorrent assaults on freedom and liberty," he said. "Well done FIFA and UEFA."

Poland calls on FIFA to ban Russia from World Cup

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Speaking on Sky News, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell, called for Russia to be excluded from all upcoming sporting events

FIFA had said it would "remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together" after Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic all refused to play their World Cup play-offs with Russia in opposition to the invasion of Ukraine.

Poland were due to play in Russia on March 25, with the winner facing Sweden or the Czech Republic four days later for a place in the finals in Qatar in November.

Following FIFA's initial statement on Sunday, the Polish FA once again insisted they would refuse to play against Russia "regardless of the name of the team consisting of Russian footballers and the place of the match".

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Speaking on Sky News, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell, called for Russia to be excluded from all upcoming sporting events

It called on FIFA to ban Russia from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

A statement from the Polish FA read: "In the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was condemned almost all over the world, this is the only decision we can make.

"A performance in a match against the Russian national team would be a shameful act not just for our players but for the entire football community, contrary to solidarity with the Ukrainian nation. As football association, we refuse to participate in play-off matches in which the Russian national team appears.

"At the same time, we call on the FIFA authorities to react immediately to the brutal violence that we observe daily on the territory of independent Ukraine. If FIFA's Human Rights Policy is more than just words on a paper now is the time to put it into practice by excluding the Russian Football Association from the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022."

The Polish FA has also written to all 55 European football associations, urging them to declare that they will not play against Russia.

The Swedish Football Association has also been quick to condemn FIFA's original decision.

"It is clear that we are not satisfied with this," Swedish FA president Karl-Erik Nilsson told Fotbollskanalen.

"Our opinion is not different today and the situation has not changed in Ukraine just because we have received the message from FIFA, so we have no other opinion today.

"We also want to talk to Poland and the Czech Republic so that we can give back to FIFA what we think, but we had expected a sharper stance from FIFA. We would have done so."

Swiss FA joins Russia boycott | Czech Republic will not play either

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Rob Dorsett says that the FA have made it clear to FIFA and UEFA that they believe Russian expulsion from international football is the correct course of action

Before the FIFA and UEFA ban, the Swiss FA had told Sky Sports News its teams would not play any form of a Russian side at international football until further notice.

It says its position is "non-negotiable" and it includes the scheduled UEFA Women's Euro group match against Russia in England this summer.

A spokesperson said: "SFA condemns Russian attack on Ukraine and will not play against Russian national teams until further notice

"The SFA condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine, which not only blatantly violates international law, but also the universal values of football, such as the promotion of friendly relations, as propagated in the FIFA Statutes. Our concern is for the people affected in Ukraine, especially the Ukrainian Football Association and all its members.

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Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says he believes sport should be used to influence peace around the world, amid the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

"The SFA supports the position of the associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, which are calling for the exclusion of the Russian men's national team from the play-offs for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In solidarity with these associations, the SFA will not play any competitive or friendly matches against Russian national teams until further notice.

"If necessary, this non-negotiable position of the SFA explicitly extends to the first match of its women's national team at the UEFA Women's EURO in England on 9 July 2022 against Russia."

The Czech FA had also told Sky Sports News that its stance on playing against Russia remained the same - no Czech Republic side will play against Russia or the 'Football Union of Russia'.

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Benfica and Ukraine striker Roman Yaremchuk was visibly emotional after being handed the captain's armband and receiving a rousing reception when he came on as a sub in their game against Vitoria. Credit: @slbenfica_en

A spokesperson said: "The Executive Committee of the Czech FA unanimously decided at its extraordinary meeting on Sunday 27 February that the Czech national team will not play in the play-offs of the 2022 World Cup qualification against Russia.

"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."

Zinchenko set to return in FA Cup tie

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Oleksandr Zinchenko and Vitaliy Mykolenko embrace before Everton take on Manchester City as Goodison Park puts on a show of unity to support Ukraine.

Manchester City's Ukraine international Oleksandr Zinchenko is set to play in Tuesday's FA Cup tie at Peterborough, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

Zinchenko was visibly moved by the displays of solidarity with his homeland, in the wake of Russia's invasion of the country, during City's Premier League game at Everton on Saturday.

The full-back was an unused substitute at Goodison Park but is poised to return to the field as City travel to the Championship strugglers in the fifth round.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said Zinchenko was "absolutely fine" and in the right frame of mind to play.

Guardiola said: "I think it will be good for him to play and show the reason why he is here. He is a magnificent player (and) needs to play football."

Zinchenko attended an anti-war vigil in Manchester last week and on Monday added his voice to calls for Russia to be excluded from international sport.

The 25-year-old shared a statement on Instagram calling on governing bodies to ban Russia and its athletes from international competitions and impose restrictions on the country concerning media and sponsorship.

Schalke end Gazprom sponsorship

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Image: Gazprom will be removed from the Schalke shirts

German club Schalke have ended their sponsorship agreement with energy firm Gazprom.

It is the latest example of sport clubs and organisations trying to distance themselves from Russian commercial interests, with UEFA confirming on Monday it had also ended its own sponsorship deal with Gazprom. The company is majority-owned by the Russian state.

Manchester United announced they had withdrawn from a deal with Russian airline Aeroflot last Friday.

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Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell says she fully supports the FA's suggestion that Russia should be banned from international football. 

Schalke's short statement released on Monday read: "The FC Schalke 04 managing board and supervisory board have come to the agreement to end the club's partnership with GAZPROM prematurely.

"The club are currently in discussions with representatives of the current sponsor and further information will be released at a later date.

"This decision does not affect the club's financial capabilities. The club's leadership are confident to be able to announce a new partner in the near future."

Former Wednesday player leaves Ukraine

Former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Kadeem Harris, who had been playing in Ukraine with Metalist Kharkiv, wrote on Instagram in support of the country, and to report he had safely left it.

He posted: "I'm still in shock from the events that have taken place in the last few days! A country that welcomed me with open arms.

"A country full of clean hearted people are now under attack because they refuse to be bullied. I pray for Ukraine, I pray for my team-mates whose families are in the middle of this disaster and I pray it all comes to an end asap!

"Thankyou for all the messages and phone calls of concern. I can confirm I am safe and not in the country. Pray for Ukraine."

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