The international governing body of football (FIFA) has announced strict measures against Russia over its war on Ukraine, which has become the site of the world’s biggest conflict since World War II (1939-45). FIFA has decided that “no international competition shall be played on the territory of Russia, with ‘home’ matches being played on neutral territory and without spectators”. The FIFA sanctions against Russia are the latest in a series of stringent actions by the global community following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The member association representing Russia shall participate in any competition under the name ‘Football Union of Russia (RFU)’ and not ‘Russia’,” said FIFA in a statement. No Russian flag or anthem will be allowed in matches where ‘Football Union of Russia’ will play, the statement further read.
Calling for an “urgent restoration of peace”, FIFA said it is in touch 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”.
Meanwhile, amid Russia’s claims of not targeting residential areas, another missile hit a residential building in Ukraine on Monday. According to Ukraine’s state service of special communications, “A rocket hit a residential building in the centre of Chernihiv.” A fire broke out, and two lower floors are on fire, the service said. The number of injured is currently unknown.
On Friday, in a curtain raiser to the FIFA sanctions against Russia, Formula One authorities announced that the Russian Grand Prix will not be held this year, after the country invaded Ukraine on Thursday. “The FIA Formula One World Championship visits countries all over the world with a positive vision to unite people, bringing nations together,” F1 said in a statement.
“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation,” it said. “On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”
Also on Friday, European football governing body UEFA said this year’s Champions League Final would no longer take place in St Petersburg, Russia after the country invaded Ukraine. The decision was taken during an Executive Committee meeting of the governing body, which decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. “The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET (Central European Time),” UEFA said in a statement.