Russian Soccer Clubs Banned from all UEFA and FIFA Competitions

Russian Soccer Clubs Banned from all UEFA and FIFA Competitions

The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is still being felt throughout, with UEFA and FIFA barring Russia’s national teams and club teams from participating in its competitions indefinitely.

UEFA Champions League ball (uefa.com)

The ruling has an impact on the only Russian club still competing in the UEFA Europa League this season, Spartak Moscow. They were set to play RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 on February 25, however, the game was cancelled. The first leg was then set to be on the 10th of March, and will not be played either.

The UEFA Decision was predicted by Oliver Mintzlaff who is the Red Bull Head of soccer. He was quoted by the RB Leipzig official twitter account saying how the Europa League series would be canceled. It officially happened when UEFA and FIFA confirmed their decision to ban Russia and Russian clubs from current and future competitions.

“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”

FIFA and UEFA ambassadors

As a result of Spartak Moscow being eliminated, RB Leipzig advances to the quarterfinals automatically.

“As the matches between RB Leipzig and FC Spartak Moskva cannot take place, as a consequence, RB Leipzig are qualified to the quarter-finals of the competition”.

Martyn Ziegler

Could the Suspension affect Russian clubs during the 2022-2023 Season?

Qualifying rounds of the 2022-2023 season begin in the summer of 2022, and if the ban is upheld throughout then, Russian clubs will still be banned.

This season, only two clubs were involved in the UEFA Champions League, FC Zenit and Spartak Moscow, one team in the Europa league, and two in the Europa Conference League. However, Spartak Moscow dropped down into the Europa League, when they failed to beat their opponents in the qualifying groups of the Champions League. But, they did very well in their group stage in Spartak Moscow beating Italian Powerhouses Napoli to the top of the group, and advancing to the round of 16.

Only one day after the invasion of Ukraine from Russia, the UEFA draw for the round of 16 took place with Spartak Moscow getting paired up against German giants RB Leipzig. The game was supposed to take place on March 10 and the second leg just a week after. However, the UEFA ban halted this, and gave automatic advancement to RB Leipzig

Napoli fall to Spartak Moscow defeat in Europa League | Forza Italian  Football
21 year old Mikhail Ignatov scoring the winning goal in the game against Napoli to put them on top of the group. (picture from UEFA.com)

The decision to ban Russia & Russian teams

The decision came when there has been pressure all around the world from any company and anything connected or associated with Russia.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee), are the latest organization to take a stance on Russians in their events, following the footsteps of UEFA and FIFA

Lots of teams have also cut ties from any type of Russian sponsors. For example, Schalke 04 cut ties from huge Russian power plant company Gazprom, and removed the sponsor from their jersey’s too. In recent games they they had a message on the jersey saying “Peace and Prosperity for all”. More about that topic can be read here.

FC Schalke 04 player wearing the new jersey’s (Picture from Schalke Instagram)

Funnily enough, the Final of the UEFA Champions league was supposed to be held in the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia. Instead, the final of the competition will be held in the Stade de France, a little north of Paris, on May 28th.

In addiction to the UEFA bans, FIFA has banned Russia from all national team competitions, including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar which Russia was one of the first few countries to qualify. Their qualifying spot is likely to go to Portugal now. On top of the World Cup, they are banned from all Euro competitions too which they typically do good in and progress. Just 4 years ago, Russia were the hosts of the 2018 World Cup and they progressed to the quarterfinals, losing to Croatia in a penalty shootout.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Group A: Russia
The 2018 Russian Wold Cup team (picture from FIFA.com)

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