Sports

FIFA suspends Russia from international soccer competitions, including World Cup

Ukraine Invasion Sports
Posted at 1:09 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 13:19:36-05

FIFA has suspended Russia from international soccer competitions, including the World Cup, after the country invaded Ukraine.

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, announced on Monday that Russia's national teams and clubs were suspended “until further notice," the organizations said in a joint statement.

"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine," the organizations said. "Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

According to the Associated Press, UEFA also ended its sponsorship with Gazprom, a Russian energy company.

News of the ban comes after FIFA was criticized for not going far enough in punishing the country for its invasion of Ukraine, the New York Times reported.

On Sunday, FIFA did not immediately expel Russia from World Cup qualifying and was going to allow them to play without its flag and anthem, the AP reported.

Several teams, including Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, had refused to play Russia because of Russia's decision to invade Ukraine, ESPN reported.

Earlier Monday, the International Olympic Committee called for athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus to be banned from international competitions.