FIFA makes u-turn, bans Russia from international football

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FIFA has made a u-turn and suspended Russian national teams and clubs from all competitions over president Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

The world football body had announced that it will not kick Russia out of the World Cup but instead banned the country from hosting international football games and the use of the team’s flag and anthem during matches in other nations.

But after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials be banned from any organised international competitions, an emergency meeting was held on Monday.

FIFA and Uefa have now agreed to put sanctions on the East European country.

Russia’s women’s team will also be barred from this year’s Euros, while club football side Spartak Moscow will no longer take part in the Europa League.

A joint statement by FIFA and Uefa reads: Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine”. It goes on to state that presidents of both governing bodies wish for “the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people.”

In addition, UEFA have announced their decision to end its partnership with Russian state-owned natural gas company Gazprom across all of its competitions, effective immediately.