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FIFA expected to suspend Russian teams from international football

Jack Gallagher
Football has united in support of Ukraine following Russian invasion
Football has united in support of Ukraine following Russian invasion / JUSTIN TALLIS/GettyImages

FIFA is set to take action and suspend all Russian teams from international football until further notice, with an official announcement expected later on Monday evening.

The world governing body had been criticised on Sunday for allowing Russia to continue in its bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the only caveats that they must play under the name of 'Football Union of Russia' and without their flag or national anthem.

FIFA's decision was met with fierce backlash and pressure for stronger action.

FIFPRO, the global players' union, were among those calling for Russia's suspension from UEFA and FIFA competitions and condemned FIFA's earlier decision.

In a statement released on Twitter, FIFPRO also said they support all football associations' decisions not to play against Russia teams in the future.

The statement read: "On this fifth day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, FIFPRO strongly disagrees with the Bureau of the FIFA Council's decision, which fails to protect players or provide clear leadership of our sport by imposing sanctions on the Russian Football Union (RFS).

"Based on the actions of Russia over the past weeks, participation of its teams in UEFA or FIFA competitions or fulfilment of its executives' functions in international football is not a possibility.

"FIFPRO supports all players and football bodies around the world who choose not to play against Russian teams in this distressing moment in time.

"Our unions in Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic are in direct contact with the players, whose position to not play, no matter the venue, remains steadfast. Many other players and unions around the world have expressed their support. We therefore call to suspend the RFS with immediate effect until peace, security, and the rule of law are restored.

"Russia's aggression and the united response of democracies around the world have shown the defence of human dignity and the rule of law are being tested. Football, and sport, has its own responsibility to respond in turn.

"Its past policies of political neutrality have failed the test of time, and today must mark a turning point for how sport engages with society, how it stands for democracy and human rights.