As a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA made a call to pull out all the Russian representatives from all kinds of international club or national football tournaments. However, the Russian Football Union (RFU) filed a formal appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday so that the international football bodies could make a reconsideration of the matter.
Official statement of the RFU
“To bring back all the women’s and men’s national teams of Russia in all kinds of football tournaments in which they have participated (which includes the qualifying matches for the Qatar World Cup), and also provide a compensation for the damage if such consequence occurs, the RFU continues to protest, as a condition in our single lawsuit against the two football entities,” the RFU revealed in an official statement.
Initially, the men’s national team of Russia was supposed to have a match against Poland in Moscow city on March 24 and if they end up victorious, they will be playing against the winners of the upcoming match between Czech Republic and Sweden. For this reason, the RFU demands a quick response, because as claimed by them, their potential opponents are making the most out of the situation by putting the two organizations under pressure and making a threat that they will refuse to play against Russia.
“The RFU will continue to plead for the reconsideration of the matter for the purpose of bringing back the Russian teams in the upcoming scheduled games. Additionally, the decision of the removal of the Russian team from being qualified to the Qatar Games was the product of the pressures from the direct competitors in the final tournaments, which has disregarded the core principles of sports and rules of a fair competition,” they added.
Who are the nations playing against Russia?
It is worth noting that the nations of the United States, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and England have formally participated in the protest of Russia’s opponents, their national teams could also be the referred potential rivals mentioned in the official statement of the RFU.
Meanwhile, the national team of Ukraine, appealed to UEFA and FIFA to postpone their match on March 24 against Hampden Park in Glasgow for operational reasons, for the similar qualifying stage for the World Cup 2022.
Removal of Russia on esports games
The effects of the Ukraine-Russia crisis have not only had an impact on traditional sports but it also has a consequence in the virtual sport. The video game industry has launched an initiative to express their support for Ukraine by raising a charity fund to ensure the safety of their people.
Just like the removal of the Russian national team in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, game developer Electronic Arts removed the Russian national team and clubs from its products such as FIFA, FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile and FIFA Online.
Aside from EA Sports, there are other game franchises that made the same decision because of the effects of the crisis. Among these is NHL 2022 which recently removed the Russian and Belarusian teams from their game.
The vice prime minister of Ukraine appealed to the industry which includes Xbox and Playstation to stop engaging in commercial activities in Russia and Belarus. Aside from esports, other companies such as Apple and Samsung pulled out its products from the aforementioned nations.
The ongoing boycott to Russia from organizations across industries is an indicator that the Russia/Ukraine war has a severe impact on the economies of both nations. As for the appeal of RFU, it is beneficial if the Russian team lies low in the meantime during these critical times.