FIFA Gives Russian Soccer the Red Card
By Robert J. Romano, JD, LLM, Senior Writer, and Devin Morgan, MS in Sport Management Candidate, St. John’s University
Initially, FIFA, soccer’s global governing body responsible for the organization and promotion of international soccer tournaments including the men’s and women’s World Cup events, was only going to forbid Russia from hosting any international soccer games during the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
Measures increased to that of having the Russian team, under the name, Football Union of Russia, play all of its qualifying matches in neutral countries without spectators or with the Russian anthem being performed. Though strengthened somewhat, these sanctions were criticized by many as a mere slap on the wrist for a country that just launched an unprovoked military invasion upon its neighbor, Ukraine.
But after the International Olympic Committee and UEFA weighed in, together with a number of nations including Sweden, Poland, and the Czech Republic, each of whom avowed that they would not play Russia in the upcoming World Cup qualifying playoffs, FIFA finally gave Russia a red card by banning it from international competitions with its official statement reading:
“FIFA and UEFA have decided that all Russian Teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.”
The ramifications being that the Russian men’s team will not play in any World Cup play-off matches next month and the women’s team will be banned from this summer’s Euro 2022 competition.
But does FIFA, together with UEFA, have the power to ban … (EDITOR’S NOTE: THE REST OF OF THE ARTICLE IS FEATURED IN SPORTS LITIGATION ALERT.)