FIFA has stated that no international competitions are to be held in the territory of Russia, with ‘home’ matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators.

The European governing body announced that it is taking immediate first measures, in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A statement from FIFA read: “FIFA calls again for the urgent restoration of peace and for constructive dialogue to commence immediately. FIFA remains in close contact with the Ukrainian Association of Football and members of the Ukrainian football community who have been requesting support to leave the country for as long as the current conflict persists.”

Furthermore, member associations representing Russia are now to participate in any competition under the name Football Union of Russia (RFU) and not Russia, whilst neither the country’s flag or national anthem will be used in matches where teams from the RFU participate.

It continued: “Importantly, FIFA strongly believes that the sport movement should be united in its decisions on this topic and that sport should continue being a vector of peace and hope. FIFA’s thoughts remain with everybody affected by this shocking and worrying situation.”

Moreso, the group has stated that it plans to continue dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and other sport organisations in order to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future if the situation doesn’t quickly improve. 

In regards to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, the organisation has looked into positions expressed through social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association, and interacted with all of these.

Also surrounding the current conflict, the 2021/22 Champions League final is now set to be played in Paris after Russia was stripped of the match, as the governing body made the decision for the tournament finale to now be held at the Stade de France in Paris.

The final of the club competition was due to be played on 28 May in St Petersburg, but UEFA confirmed, in a meeting in recent weeks, that the match will not be held at the Gazprom Arena – the stadium sponsored by Russian state backed energy firm Gazprom, which is currently Champions League sponsor.

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