FIFA in advanced talks to suspend Russia until further notice | Football News

FIFA is in advanced talks over the suspension of the Russia national team until further notice.

It is working closely with European confederation UEFA, and it is expected a joint statement confirming the RFU’s suspension could come later on Monday.

The suspension would mean that, barring an unlikely change of course in the Russian invasion, the country would not be able to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final next month.

FIFA’s original decision to stop short of suspending Russia was not final.

Q&A: What happens next?

How swift can we expect a decision?

Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Later today [Monday] I think it will be announced that Russia have been banned from international football. FIFA are at the moment in advanced talks over suspending the Russia national team until further notice.

“FIFA are working closely with UEFA on this. We had the situation on Sunday when the Bureau of the FIFA Council met when they stopped just short of banning Russia.

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Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell says she fully supports the FA’s suggestion Russia should be banned from international football

“They said that Russia wouldn’t be able to play any home games, they wouldn’t be able to call themselves Russia and they would have to call themselves the Football Union of Russia and there would be no anthem or flags.

“FIFA also said on Sunday that further measures may well follow. These further measures are going to follow very quickly.”

Are other organisations now putting pressure on FIFA and UEFA to act?

“The FIFA Bureau is made up of the president Gianni Infantino and also the six presidents of the six football confederations. It was a global decision.

“The decision wasn’t just taken by Infantino but it was by the president of CONMEBOL for instance and that of UEFA and the Asian football confederation. They decided on Sunday to stop just short of suspending Russia and a lot of people thought they would suspend them.

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Rob Dorsett says the FA have made it clear to FIFA and UEFA they believe Russian expulsion from international football is the correct course of action

“There’s been a lot of criticism of that decision and we’ve also had examples where individual football associations have come out and said, ‘it doesn’t matter what the Bureau have decided, we are just not going to play against Russia.’

“We saw Poland, who have been the most vociferous and have been standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine saying, ‘no matter what happens, while Russia is invading Ukraine and people are dying in Ukraine and fleeing the country, we’ll not play against Russia.

“Even if we’re going to lose out on a place in the World Cup finals. It looks like if this decision is made today then Poland would get into the next round of the play-offs.

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Speaking on Sky News, the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Powell, called for Russia to be excluded from all upcoming sporting events

“At the moment, they’re supposed to be playing Russia and the winner of that game would face the Czech Republic or Sweden for a place at the Qatar World Cup.

“It would mean they would go straight into the final play-off game.”

Has the decision surprised you in any way?

“It’s perhaps surprising that it’s happened so quickly. But the information we had on Sunday was that this wasn’t a final decision.

“It was made very clear to us that depending on what happens in Ukraine that Russia may be suspended. I didn’t expect it to happen within 24 hours but it was made very clear to us that this decision is not a fait accompli. It may well change depending on what happens in Ukraine.

“There was plenty of criticism not to ban Russia straightaway but it looks like people at FIFA, UEFA and all the confederations are listening to the football world and the individual football associations who are coming out and saying they’re not going to play Russia and they’ve decided to act quickly.”

Russia are due to play in the women’s European Championship. Will UEFA act in the same way?

“Yes, I expect they will. I’m being told that this is a decision that is going to be taken by all of the confederations.

“FIFA are talking and working very closely with UEFA and what is significant is that there is going to be a UEFA Executive Committee meeting at 5pm on Monday.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is inconceivable that normal sporting relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia can continue following the invasion of Ukraine.

“There will be more developments on that as well. I think at that meeting it will become clear that Russia have been banned from international football. We may get an update on UEFA’s attempts to extricate themselves from a sponsorship deal with Gazprom – the state-owned Russian energy company.

“It’s complicated and it’s something UEFA’s lawyers are looking at to try to find a way of getting themselves out of this sponsorship agreement because Gazprom is one of if not their biggest sponsor, worth around £30m a year.”

What happens if Russia were then to retreat from Ukraine? Would the national team be immediately re-instated in the World Cup play-offs? Is this why FIFA and UEFA have held back for the moment?

“This could change again and I don’t think we can sit here and say 100 per cent that Russia will not play Poland. It all depends on what happens in Ukraine.

“It should be said that there’s an awful lot more important things happening in the world at the moment. What is happening in Ukraine is much more important than World Cup play-offs, and that is what strikes me when speaking to people at the Polish FA.

“Football doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. They’re saying they don’t care about the World Cup finals. Football is totally insignificant. What is important is what Russia are doing in Ukraine.

“They are saying they will try to do whatever they can to try and stop that. Don’t even ask us questions about the World Cup finals and play-offs. The bottom line is they will not be playing against Russia.”

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