Russia’s national football team banned from World Cup qualifiers

The future of Russian football has just taken a huge hit.

Russia was suspended and barred from competing in the World Cup qualifiers, and the country appealed and appealed for the lifting of FIFA (Federation International de Football Association) sanctions. But on Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected Russia’s request, meaning Russia would remain suspended.

Prior to the suspension, Russia were second in Group H of the UEFA World Cup qualifiers with 22 points from 10 matches, just one point behind current group leaders Croatia. The suspension means their matchup with Poland has been canceled next Thursday.

Russia will not be able to advance even in the World Cup qualifiers and Qatar will be deprived of the World Cup this summer.

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“The challenged decision is in force and all Russian teams and clubs have been barred from participating in the UEFA competition,” CAS said in a statement on Tuesday.

Similar to the economic sanctions imposed on Premier League team Chelsea FC, it is difficult to know whether these measures are really effective in holding Vladimir Putin accountable. Most Russian athletes do not support Putin, so punishing players and sports teams that have nothing to do with him seems like torture.

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