Is Russian football in danger of being completely isolated? Layouts before the meeting of the year in FIFA
What does it take to exclude RFU from the football family and what are the chances for our mission? According to our initiates – not so bad.
On March 31, the annual FIFA conference will be held in Qatar. For Russian football, the meeting of all 211 members of the international federation is crucial. The meeting may consider suspending RFU membership in FIFA, and in the worst case, expulsion from the event. What can fans expect from this day? What are the hopes of Russian football officials? And what if the worst-case scenarios come true? The answers to the main questions can be found in this text.
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Will there be an RFU delegation at the conference?
According to our information, the trip of the RFU mission to Doha was a big question mark for a few more days. But in the end, it will continue to go there – and that’s a good sign. We can assume that if the football family was clearly appointed to exclude Russia from its composition, representatives of our country would simply not be invited to the meeting.
Photo: Dmitry Golubovic, Championship
In Qatar, Russian football will be represented by RFU General Secretary Alexander Alaev and former chairman of the organizing committees for the preparation for the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 Alexei Sorokin. Both members of the mission have trusting and strong relationships with international football executives, so their choice makes sense.
There is no issue on the agenda to consider RFU’s status in FIFA. But that can change
Alexei Sorokin told the “Championship” yesterday that there is no issue of changing the RFU regime (or even the exclusion from FIFA) on the conference agenda. It seems – everything is fine. But under the fourth paragraph there is something similar: “Suspension or expulsion of a member of the organization.” According to our sources, this element implies an examination of the status of the football federations of Zimbabwe and Kenya. The issue of RFU’s fate is not on the agenda. But no one is bothering one of the members of Congress to raise the issue of the state of Russian football. Sorokin has the same view:
– I do not expect radical actions in relation to the RFU. There is a principle: football is out of politics. In addition, the Russian Football Federation did nothing for which we could be expelled.
The agenda is already there. As far as I know, the issue of the status quo, our exclusion and everything else is not on the agenda. But, of course, like any question, it can arise in the discussion process.
I would not want that to happen. We do not think we have done anything that can be discussed on this issue. We hope and believe in the best.
Let’s say that the issue of exclusion is still raised. What does it take to make a decision?
According to the statutes of the FIFA Conference, the issue will be put to a vote. In order to decide to exclude / suspend RFU’s activities, 75% of the conference participants must vote ‘yes’. That is, out of the 211 members of the ban on Russian football, 158 countries should support it.
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What are the plans before the meeting?
According to our information, the blockade of the RFU is the least likely development. The international federation does not want to go into this. According to our sources, the position of FIFA and UEFA at the moment is the following: “After the situation normalizes, let us sit down and talk about the return of Russia.”
By this logic, the two basic scenarios for the course of events look like this:
- suspension of RFU’s activities;
- the current position of Russian football (ban on participation in international matches until recently) remains in force. No further punitive measures will be taken.
At the same time, sources are currently evaluating the second option as the most likely.
Do not expect harsh decisions and sports lawyer Mikhail Prokopets.
“I do not think the FIFA Congress will rule out RFU. Since the previous decision, nothing has changed radically in the world. The suspension of participation in tournaments was made after a decision of the ILO, which lowered its recommendations downwards. I see no reason why FIFA should make an even tougher decision. Anyone can support our exclusion, but the decision is not made immediately. This issue should be on the agenda. “But FIFA shows that it does not want to make sudden moves.”
What happens if RFU membership is suspended?
If the conference session continues according to a bad scenario for us and the participation in the RFU is suspended, it will mean a complete ban on participating in international matches of national team and clubs, as well as a ban on international transfers. To put it mildly, there will be nothing pleasant in such a decision. If they decide to exclude us from FIFA (although this option is the least likely), the RFU will also ban matches and transfers, but the return to the football family will be long overdue.
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But even if our country’s activities in FIFA are suspended (which roughly means activities in UEFA), the RFU is not currently considering the option of leaving for the Asian confederation. RFU plans to stay in European football after the restrictions are lifted.