Russia face World Cup ban risk as sport turns yellow and blue for Ukraine

Russia face World Cup ban risk as sport turns yellow and blue for Ukraine

Paris (AFP) – Russia confronted calls to be banished from the 2022 World Cup on Sunday as Moscow edged in the direction of changing into a sports activities pariah following its invasion of Ukraine.

Demands to dump Russia from soccer’s showpiece occasion have been led by French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet.

“The world of sport, and especially football, cannot remain neutral. I certainly would not oppose the expulsion of Russia,” stated Le Graet advised Le Parisien newspaper.

France are the reigning world champions having gained the 2018 match performed in Russia.

Governing physique FIFA warned that they have been contemplating the final word sanction however after 4 days of battle, they on Sunday solely ordered Russia to play house internationals on impartial venues.

Their nationwide flag and anthem are additionally to be banned.

FIFA additionally stated Russian groups would play because the “Football Union of Russia”.

FIFA admitted, nevertheless, it could proceed its dialogue with different sports activities organisations to find out extra measures “including potential exclusion from competitions”.

However, inside minutes of FIFA’s announcement, the Polish FA insisted as soon as once more that they won’t play Russia in a World Cup play-off.

“Today’s FIFA decision is totally unacceptable,” tweeted Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza.

“We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is.”

Poland have been as a result of play in Moscow on March 24.

Should Russia win, they’re scheduled to host the winners of a match between the Czechs and the Swedes on March 29.

Sweden and the Czech Republic have additionally refused to play Russia within the play-offs.

The English FA stated Sunday that their nationwide groups wouldn’t play any video games in opposition to Russia “out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership”.

European governing physique UEFA took motion on Friday, stripping Saint Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena of the Champions League remaining on May 28 and awarding the showpiece match to the Stade de France in Paris.

At Wembley on Sunday, Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson carried flowers in Ukraine’s yellow and blue colors onto the pitch earlier than kick-off of their League Cup remaining.

Both groups stood for a minute’s applause, whereas a message on the stadium scoreboard in yellow and blue learn “Football Stands Together”.

– ‘Save Ukraine, save Europe’ –

Liverpool and Chelsea followers have been seen with Ukraine flags of their sections of Wembley.

One supportive banner in Ukraine’s blue and yellow colors learn “You’ll never walk alone” in reference to Liverpool’s anthem.

Chelsea additionally stated they have been “praying for peace” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after proprietor Roman Abramovich’s choice handy over management of the Premier League membership.

The Russian-Israeli billionaire introduced on Saturday that he was handing the “stewardship and care” of Chelsea to the trustees of the membership’s charitable basis. But he’ll stay as proprietor.

There was no point out in his assertion of the disaster in Ukraine.

Chelsea launched a 24-word assertion on their web site however there was no point out of Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin.

“The situation in Ukraine is horrific and devastating,” the assertion stated. “Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace.”

It is known Abramovich, who allegedly has hyperlinks to the Kremlin, took the choice to step apart to be able to shield Chelsea from reputational injury as battle rages in Ukraine.

Sporting anger wasn’t simply restricted to soccer.

In Cairo, Ukrainian fencers withdrew from the world championships to keep away from dealing with Russia in a match-up.

The Ukraine males’s workforce, dressed within the yellow and blue of their nationwide flag, downed their swords and picked up indicators to protest.

“Stop Russia! Stop the war!,” the indicators learn, written in English. “Save Ukraine! Save Europe.”

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