FIFA to suspend Russia from all international soccer as IOC urges ban on all sport amid Ukraine invasion

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called for the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from all international sports amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

After further talks on Monday, the IOC executive board issued a detailed statement recommending that federations and event organizers across the sporting sphere “not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.” ” to “protect the integrity of world sporting competitions and for the safety of all participants.”

Such a decisive intervention appears poised to pave the way for Russia to be banned indefinitely from all international football, a decision that could be confirmed by FIFA and UEFA later on Monday night.

FIFA had initially said on Sunday that Russia’s national teams will play “home” games behind closed doors at neutral venues abroad and will have to do so under the name of the Russian Football Union (RFU), with the flag and the Banned country anthem. .

However, that decision was deemed “totally unacceptable” by Poland, who, along with other potential World Cup play-off opponents Sweden and the Czech Republic, reaffirmed that they were not willing to play Russia, “without import team name”. is”.

In events where their participation cannot be avoided “in the short term or for organizational or legal reasons”, the IOC urged organizers to ensure that athletes and officials cannot compete under the name of Russia or Belarus, and in instead they should only participate as neutral athletes or teams without symbols, colors, flags or anthems.

Athletes from Russia appear set to compete at the Winter Paralympics as the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, with some of their 71 contingents believed to have arrived in Beijing before the event kicks off on Friday.

The executive board of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will meet on Wednesday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The IOC also confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was stripped of his Olympic Order award, along with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko and Dmitry Kozak, deputy chief of staff in the presidential executive office.

That decision has been made, the IOC said, “on the basis of the exceptional circumstances of the situation and considering the extremely serious violation of the Olympic Truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian government in the past.”

The IOC statement also reiterated its urgent call from last week not to organize any sporting events in Russia and Belarus, while the organization has also established a solitary fund in support of Ukrainian athletes and their families.

“The IOC EB, assisted by the IOC Working Group, continues to closely monitor the situation. It may adapt its recommendations and measures in accordance with future developments,” the IOC statement concluded.

“The IOC reaffirms the call of the IOC President [Thomas Bach]: “Give peace a chance.”

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