In a media release, FIFA has said that "first and foremost, FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine."
FIFA's statement reads:
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.
To address football-related matters and in coordination with UEFA, the Bureau of the FIFA Council - involving the FIFA President and the six Confederation Presidents - has unanimously decided to take immediate first measures, in line with recommendations from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and that will be applicable until further notice:
• No international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with “home” matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators
• The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name “Football Union of Russia (RFU)” and not “Russia”
• No flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate
FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and other sport organisations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly. The Bureau of the FIFA Council remains on standby to take any of these decisions.
FIFA has also said that it strongly believes that the sports movement should be united in its decisions on this topic and that sport should continue being a vector of peace and hope.
With regard to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, FIFA has taken good note of the positions expressed via social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association and has already engaged in dialogue with all of these football associations. FIFA will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together.
Source: Press Release
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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