FIFA announced a number of restrictions against Russia on Feb. 27, but the sports governing body won’t immediately expel the country from qualifying for international tournaments.
The national team is also banned from hosting “home” matches and all international games must be played on neutral territory, without Russian spectators being allowed in the venue.
In addition, “no flag or anthem of Russia will be used in matches where teams from the Football Union of Russia participate,” the bureau said in the statement.
Meanwhile, Formula One also canceled this season’s Grand Prix in Russia last week.
Euro Backlash for FIFA Refusing to Expel RussiaSeveral national teams, including Poland and Sweden, were quick to criticize FIFA’s response, saying the additional measures won’t change their decision not to play against Russia.
“Today’s FIFA decision is totally unacceptable,” Polish football federation president Cezary Kulesza said on Twitter. “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.”
On March 24, Poland is scheduled to play against Russia in a World Cup playoff semifinal. The winner of the Russia-Poland playoff is due to host Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29 to decide who advances to the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 World Cup in Qatar.
Swedish federation president Karl-Erik Nilsson, the senior UEFA vice president, told Fotbollskanalen that he was not satisfied with FIFA’s decision. The Czechs expressed a similar view to Poland, saying FIFA’s compromise has not changed their decision not to play Russia.
FIFA said it had engaged with Poland, Sweden, and the Czechs, and would remain in “close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together.”