The Russian Football Union says it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the decisions by FIFA and UEFA to bar Russian national teams from international competitions over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The union said in a statement it would file one lawsuit against the two governing bodies to demand that Russian men’s and women’s national teams be allowed to compete, including in qualifying for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
FIFA initially stated that Russia would be able to continue to play under the ‘Football Union or Russia’ name, and without their flag or anthem being present at matches.
But world football’s governing body then released a joint statement with UEFA on Monday announcing Russia’s national teams, plus its clubs, were banned from all competitions.
The statement from the governing bodies read: “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.”
Russia were due to play Poland in a World Cup qualifier later this month, with the winner of the tie playing either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place at the finals in Qatar, but all three nations refused to face them.
A number of European football associations, including those of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, also stated they would not face Russian sides.
Spartak Moscow, Russia’s only remaining team in European club competition, were also thrown out of the Europa League.
EA Sports to remove Russian teams from FIFA games
EA Sports has “initiated processes” to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs from its FIFA products.
The video game developer says it is also “actively evaluating related changes to other areas of our games” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A statement from EA Sports read: “EA Sports stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and like so many voices across the world of football, calls for peace and an end to the invasion of Ukraine.
“In line with our partners at FIFA and UEFA, EA Sports has initiated processes to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs from EA Sports FIFA products including: FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile and FIFA Online. We’re also actively evaluating related changes to other areas of our games.
“We will keep our communities up to date on any actions taken, and thank players for their patience as we work through these updates.”
Ukraine ask for Scotland WC play-off postponement
Ukraine have asked FIFA and UEFA to postpone their upcoming World Cup play-off games with Scotland.
Their play-off semi-final game was due to be played at Hampden Park on March 24, with the winner going on to face Austria or Wales in Cardiff for a place in this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
BREAKING: The Ukrainian FA have asked FIFA and UEFA to postpone their World Cup qualifier against Scotland on March 24, according to Reuters👇
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) March 3, 2022
But now Ukraine have asked both international tournament bodies to postpone the fixture, owing to the ongoing invasion of the country by the Russian military.
Russia had been due to face Poland in their semi-final, but have been thrown out of the tournament by FIFA as a sanction for the invasion.
Shevchenko’s message to Russia: You can stop this war
Former Chelsea and AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko said football “doesn’t exist” for him amid the current invasion while speaking to Sky Sports News.
Shevchenko’s family have refused to leave Ukraine and the 45-year-old has remained in London during the conflict to help lead the appeal to get humanitarian aid to his country.
“Football doesn’t exist for me any more,” Shevchenko said. “I don’t think about it. It’s not the time for that. I’m not watching anything, any sport, anything.
“All my concentration, when I wake up, I think about how I can help my country, what I can do. I’ve started to call my parents, my friends, get updates on what’s going on in Ukraine. For me, this is my field, this is my focus now.”