FIFA mulls lifting ban on Russian teams
FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin
Published By: Nimot Sulaimon
FIFA is reportedly considering ending Russia’s suspension from international football in the wake of UEFA’s recent shift in stance.
Sources say the decision might be approved during a FIFA Council meeting later today, allowing Russian teams to compete in FIFA Under-17 World Cups, subject to qualifying.
Although the matter was not originally on the agenda for FIFA’s Council meeting, neither FIFA nor the Russian Football Union have responded to demands for comment.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, UEFA temporarily suspended all Russian teams from its competitions, both national and club sides.
However, UEFA’s position shifted significantly last week.
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UEFA, the governing body of European football, stated that “children should not be punished for actions that are solely the responsibility of adults.”
As a result, UEFA declared that Russian U-17 teams would be reintegrated into UEFA competitions “during the course of this season.”
In reaction, the Ukrainian Association of Football urged UEFA to reconsider its decision and stated that it would not participate in events including Russian teams.
Several countries, including England, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, have stated that despite UEFA’s decision, their youth teams will not compete against Russia.