FIFA says Russian football team can not compete under national flag

FIFA says Russian football team can not compete under national flag. Image: Pixabay

Russian international football team told by FIFA they can not play under the national flag 

The Russian national football team has been instructed by FIFA that it can not compete any matches on home soil. They must complete any remaining World Cup games on neutral territory, and play under the name of the Football Union of Russia, and without using the national flag or anthem.

This comes as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which in sporting terms, has already had a huge negative effect on the country. Formula One has pulled the Russian Grand Prix, and the Champions League final has been removed from St Petersburg by UEFA.

England, Wales, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Sweden have all refused to play against Russia. Play-offs in March for this year’s Qatar World Cup would see Russia play Poland, and should they win, they would meet either Czech Republic or Sweden.

Cezary Kulesza, president of the Polish football association called the decision by FIFA “totally unacceptable”, while representatives of both the Czech and Swedish FA’s reiterated that they would not play against Russia.

“We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will not play with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is”, said Kulesza.

Speaking with Fotbollskanalen, Karl-Erik Nilsson, the president of the Swedish FA commented, “Our opinion is not different today, and the situation has not changed in Ukraine just because we have received the message from FIFA, so we have no other opinion today”.

“We also want to talk to Poland and the Czech Republic, so that we can give back to FIFA what we think, but we had expected a sharper stance from FIFA. We would have done so”, he added.

A statement from FIFA this Sunday, February 27, read, “FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine”.

“FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the International Olympic Committee, UEFA, and other sports organisations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly”, it continued.

“FIFA’s thoughts remain with everybody affected by this shocking and worrying situation”, it concluded.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]