Russia could be expelled from FIFA on Thursday. What is the probability of this and what will follow in case of exception – in the material “RBC Sport”
Read us at
What will be on the agenda of the FIFA Conference?
On Thursday, the International Football Association (FIFA) may consider suspending membership of the Russian Football Association or expulsion from the organization due to a special operation in Ukraine.
In addition to the reports on the activities of the organization last year and the approval of the budget for next year, the agenda of the FIFA Congress will also include the issue of the suspension of membership of certain football federations. According to Sport Express, the issue concerns the delegations of Kenya and Zimbabwe due to interventions in the work of government agencies.
According to journalist Nobel Arustamian, the issue of suspending or excluding the Russian Football Association from FIFA was urgently included in the agenda.
The RFU delegation in Qatar included two people – Alexander Alaev (General Secretary of RFU, member of the Executive Committee of RFU – RBC) and Alexey Sorokin (Former member of the FIFA Council and former director general of the organizing committee of the 2018 World Cup in Russia – RBC)
According to Sorokin, FIFA does not initially plan to discuss the issue of RFU status at the conference, but the issue may already arise during the meeting.
“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,” Sorokin was quoted as saying by “Championship”.
According to Article 61 of the FIFA Statutes, a national federation may be deprived of its membership of the organization:
- for non-payment of funds due or other debts to FIFA;
- for any serious violation of the Statute and the regulations of the Federation;
- for rude attacks against FIFA or any FIFA-affiliated national federation;
- for the loss of the real existence of the national football federation in their country.
Pursuant to Article 61 (2), the decision to expel a national federation can only be taken by Congress and must be taken by 3/4 of the registered votes.
After the Russian authorities launched a military operation in Ukraine, FIFA initially decided to allow the Russian team to participate in the qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup with the status of the RFU team in neutral stadiums. However, FIFA later decided to award the Russian team a technical defeat in the match against Poland. Despite RFU’s appeal, the sports arbitration court upheld the decision of the International Football Federation.
UEFA did the same with clubs from the Russian Premier League. “Spartak” of Moscow, which was released in the 1/8 European Championship, was not allowed to play with the German RB “Leipzig”.
What awaits Russia after the FIFA conference
According to Nobel journalist Arustamyan and the Championship article, football officials are now considering two options for the course of events:
First choice – suspension for two yearsof which a Russia can challenge and impose a suspended sentence.
The second option is indefinite suspension of RFU membership in FIFA. Only after an indefinite period of time can Russia return to the issue of its status, which delays the process of returning the RFU to the football family.
Both options mean that Russian clubs and the national team will be excluded from international competitions. Also, Russian teams will not be able to make international transfers, which will make it impossible for foreign players to participate in Russian leagues.
If FIFA deprives Russia of membership in the organization, the Russian Football Association will be banned from conducting matches and making transfers.
Lawyer Sergei Alexeev told RBC Sport that FIFA would violate its own statutes by suspending Russia’s participation in the organization.
“FIFA is now blatantly violating its own statutes, the sports law, and violating a series of decisions banning political interference in sport. Any restriction on the participation of Russian national teams under the auspices of FIFA and UEFA constitutes a gross mass violation of human rights in sport and equal access to participation in competitions, at work, in the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of nationality – Article 3 of the FIFA Charter. “Ownership and image rights are imposed on our athletes,” said Alexeev.
The lawyer also noted that the Russian Football Association can appeal to the Arbitration Sports Court and challenge the decision of FIFA.
Russian is the official language of FIFA
The French newspaper L’Équipe and the journalist of the German TV channel ZDF Markus Harm report that the International Football Association (FIFA) may give Russian the status of the official language of the organization.
According to the newspaper, the Doha conference will consider a proposal to introduce new official languages in the organization. We speak Russian, Portuguese and Arabic. The official languages of FIFA are English, Spanish, French and German.
Will RFU go to Asia?
Arustamian also said that the RFU is considering joining the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after the end of the FIFA ban.
At the same time, the Championship publication, citing RFU sources, denies the possibility of RFU leaving UEFA.
“Even if FIFA imposes a ban, which would result in a ban from UEFA, the RFU has no plans to leave European football and plans to remain with UEFA after the restrictions are lifted,” said a Championship source.
The Asian Confederation can be considered a replacement for UEFA, as Russia has good diplomatic relations with most of the countries that make up the organization. Lack of pressure may be one of the arguments for joining the AFC. However, if the transition happens, the Russian teams will have to play with clubs that are under their category, which is confirmed by the league standings from the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics – RBC). Thus, the overall level of Russian football will certainly decrease.
The Asian Football Confederation is the leading football organization in the region of Asia and Australia. It consists of 47 members. At the same time, Israel, Cyprus, as well as countries bordering Europe and Asia – Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey – are members of the European organization UEFA. The biggest tournaments are the Asian Cup between national teams (24 teams play) and the AFC Champions League between professional football clubs (40 teams play in the group stage).
Lawyer Anna Ancelievic explained to RBC Sport what procedure the Russian Football Association is waiting for in order to move from UEFA to the AFC.
“We must first end our participation in UEFA according to the procedure provided there. First, it is worthwhile to apply for a withdrawal at the end of the financial year, the UEFA Congress must take this decision with 2/3 of the votes and only then submit an application to the Asian Confederation. “This is due to the fact that the federation can not be in two at the same time, so you must first end the relationship with one and then formalize the relationship with the other,” said Anceliovich.