Russia faced serious sanctions from FIFA and UEFA on the back of the country’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, with governing bodies for world and European football taking decisive action.
It was deemed necessary to suspend Russian teams – both international and domestic and across the men and women’s games – from turning out in global and continental competition until further notice.
Russia have been removed from World Cup 2022 play-offs as a result – where they were due to face Poland on March 24 - as well as this summer’s European Women’s Football Championship in England, but how long will their absence last and when will they return to major events? GOAL takes a look…
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How long have teams from Russia been banned for?
FIFA and UEFA announced in a joint-statement on February 28 that action was being taken against Russia, saying: “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 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.”
No definitive date has been set for the lifting of those sanctions, with Russia currently banned from FIFA and UEFA competition – such as the World Cup, Euros, Champions League and Europa League – indefinitely, while St Petersburg has been stripped of Champions League final hosting duties in 2022 as that contest instead heads to Stade de France in Paris on May 28.
Have Russia appealed against the ban?
Russia have lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the FIFA and UEFA-imposed sanctions, with the respective federations of Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, England and a number of other nations being dragged into the process.
The Russia Football Union (RFU) said: “The RFU will demand the restoration of all men's and women's national teams of Russia in all types of football in the tournaments in which they took part (including in the qualifying round of the World Cup in Qatar), as well as compensation for damage.
“In order to ensure the possibility of the participation of Russian teams in the next scheduled matches, the RFU will insist on an expedited procedure for considering the case.”
How has the Court of Arbitration for Sport responded?
Upon receiving an official appeal from Russia, CAS has stated that it intends to deliver a final ruling on the case as quickly as possible, with competitive fixtures of considerable note fast approaching.
A statement from CAS read: “The FIFA appeal has been filed against Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the Polish Football Association, the Swedish Football Association, the Czech Football Association, the Football Association of Montenegro and the Malta Football Association.
“The UEFA appeal has been filed against UEFA, the Hellenic Football Federation, the Belarus Football Federation, the Danish Football Association, the Luxembourgish Football Association, the Austrian Football Association, the Malta Football Association, the Portuguese Football Federation, the English Football Association, the Spanish Football Association, the Irish Football Association and the French Football Association.
“In its appeals, the FUR requests CAS to set aside the Challenged Decisions and to reinstate all Russian teams and clubs for participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions. Together with each statement of appeal, the FUR has also filed a request to stay the execution of each challenged decision.
“The CAS Court Office has initiated two separate arbitration procedures and, in accordance with the Code of Sports-related Arbitration (the arbitration rules governing CAS procedures), will seek the position of the respondent parties with respect to the FUR’s requests to stay the execution of the Challenged Decisions and as to the organization and planning of each arbitration procedure.”