FIFA suspends Russia over Ukraine invasion ahead of 2022 World Cup

(Image credit: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

FIFA is the latest organization kicking Russia to the curb over the Ukraine invasion.

The soccer governing body, along with the European UEFA, announced on Monday that all Russian teams "whether national representative teams or club teams" will be suspended from competition "until further notice" in response to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine," a statement from FIFA and UEFA said. "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."

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This decision will likely keep Russia out of the 2022 World Cup, as the country was set to compete in a qualifying match against Poland on March 24, according to Axios. Still, The Washington Post noted the indefinite nature of the suspension "leaves the door open for Russia to return to World Cup qualifying play if the situation in Ukraine improves significantly" before then.

FIFA previously condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Sunday and expressed "solidarity" with the Ukrainian people. The organization also announced "initial measures" against Russia, including that no international competition would be played in the country, although these measures didn't include a suspension at first. Instead, FIFA initially said athletes from Russia would particpate under the name "Football Union of Russia" and not Russia.

But the decision to suspend Russia indefinitely came on the same day that the International Olympic Committee recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes not be allowed to compete in any international competitions in light of the Ukraine invasion "in order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants." The European Broadcasting Union also announced that Russia would be banned from the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.