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Will FIFA ban Russia from World Cup 2022?

19:36 GMT+3 28/02/2022
Russia World Cup split GFX
Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, international pressure has mounted on sporting bodies to act

Russia faces increased sanction from football authorities for the country's ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, with other nations pushing for their World Cup expulsion.

The likes of UEFA and FIFA had already levied some measures - including playing games at neutral venues - but now a ban from international action has been imposed until further notice.

GOAL takes a look at whether Russia will be banned from the World Cup as well as prior instances of countries being banned from the biggest sporting competition in the world.

Will FIFA ban Russia from World Cup 2022?

Russia's participation in World Cup 2022 is under threat, after FIFA announced on Monday that the Russia national team would be banned from competition with immediate effect.

"Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together 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," a joint statement issued by FIFA and UEFA on Monday signalled.

"These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters.

"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. 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."

Russia have not yet booked their place in the Qatar tournament and are due to play play-off games in March.

They were originally scheduled to face Poland on March 24, with a potential tie against Czech Republic or Sweden to follow on March 29. However, all three teams have refused to play against a Russian representative team.

Why could Russia be banned from World Cup 2022?

There has been international outrage after Russia's military invasion of Ukraine last week, with many football players showing solidarity with Ukraine and countries including Poland saying they would not face Russia in international action until the situation is peacefully resolved.

FIFA initially ruled that Russia will simply have to play their next matches without their flag or national anthem and in neutral territory under the name "Football Union of Russia" - however, some nations have deemed that action insuffient.

Now, FIFA appears set to increase their punishment amid continued aggression from Russia towards Ukraine.

Have teams been banned from the World Cup before?

There is precedent for nations being banned from the World Cup for reasons outside of football.

Germany and Japan were banned from the 1950 event due to their parts in World War II, while South Africa faced a ban that spanned decades due to their apartheid rule.

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