CSKA Moscow's Mario Fernandes denies request to suspend contract is due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Mario Fernandes CSKAGetty Images

CSKA Moscow's Mario Fernandes has denied that he has asked for an exit from the club in relation to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis, after it was confirmed that his contract would be suspended.

The Brazil-born right-back, who has played for the club since 2012 and represented Russia at both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, has been sanctioned to return to his home country, citing burnout.

But Fernandes - who is expecting a child - says that his decision is not motivated by ongoing international events, and even suggested that he could yet return to the team sometime down the line.

What has Fernandes said about his suspension?

"Lately I've been feeling colossal tiredness and great exhaustion, and I can't give everything I've always given for the benefit of CSKA," Fernandes said in a video posted to social media. "I've been playing football professionally for 13 years, of which I spent 10 years at CSKA.

"I asked to be allowed to spend some time with my family in Brazil. I am very grateful to them for the fact that they treated my request with understanding and agreed to let me go. After the match with Rostov, I fly to Brazil. My contract will be suspended.

"I would especially like to make it clear that I am leaving Russia not because of recent events in the world and not because of a difficult period in the life of the team. I have always helped and will help the club in any way I can."

What is the current situation for Russia in competition?

As it stands, domestic and international sanctions remain against Russia in relation to football activities, for both clubs and the national team.

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Sides will not be able to enter European competition next season and remain barred from competing in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Meanwhile, the Russia national team has been blocked from next season's Nations League, while the women's team have been barred from Euro 2022 in England later this year.

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