The ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine finally costs their sport teams as they are banned in all competitions.
FIFA and UEFA eventually came to an agreement to immediately sanction Russian football earlier this week after being widely criticised by Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic, the teams which are seeded in the same pool as Sbornaya in the world cup playoff this month, plus England FA, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Albania for their initial decision to this issue. They both decided to suspend Russia from World Cup playoff until further notice as well as all Russian football clubs in any continental competition plus end the €40 million-worth deal with Gazprom, the Russian-state owned company which have been one of the main sponsors in European competition. Such definitely prevents Alexander Golovin and Co to qualify to Qatar 2022 and kicks out Spartak Moscow of Europa League this season. They were actually scheduled to face off RB Leipzig at the round of 16 this month as well.
Such decision has been certainly the expected improvement compared to their earlier response to Russian invasion. Last week, UEFA only moved the Champions League final this year from Krestovsky Stadium in St.Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint Dennis but did yet make any swift decision about their huge deal with Gazprom. Meanwhile, FIFA was even worse since they seemed reluctant to determine further on Russian football than just suspending the use of the country's name, anthem or attributes in the international fixtures but still let them play in all competition including the playoff, despite not staging the game on their own home.
UEFA's response, however, was still not as swift as Manchester United which cancelled the collaboration with Aeroflot, the Russian airlines transporting them for European fixtures around the continent, or Schalke 04 which also snubbed their partnership with Gazprom soon after Putin initiated his troops' attack on Ukraine soil. F1 even quickly ruled out the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi this year.
Now the questions remain on how the world football governing body is going to continue UEFA world cup playoff, whether giving a bye for Poland or replacing Russian spot with other countries. There has yet been any confirmation on that. Nevertheless, should the replacement be considered, then Hungary, Finland or Slovakia could be given a chance to rekindle their qualifying campaign. The first two are the next teams with highest position based on UEFA Nations League 2021 standings who miss the playoff, while Slovakia sat under Russia in the qualifiers group stage. As for Spartak Moscow, UEFA apparently is more in favour of giving Domenico Tedesco's side a bye for the quarter final berth.
This is definitely not the end of it yet since Russian Football federation (RFU) are set to appeal the case with Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) for this injustice. They believe their decision has been more based on the political perspective while football shall be free from it.