FIFA refuses to expel Russia from football

Official logo FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar printed on banner during training session on the eve of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification at the Olympic stadium in Kyiv.

FIFA drew a swift backlash from European nations for not immediately expelling Russia from World Cup qualifying on Sunday (Monday in Manila) and only ordering the country to play without its flag and anthem at neutral venues under the name of its federation — the Football Union of Russia.

Protesting against FIFA's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Poland said it would still refuse to play the country in a World Cup playoff semifinal, which is scheduled for March 24.

Today's FIFA decision is totally unacceptable," Polish football federation president Cezary Kulesza tweeted. "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.

The unanimous ruling by the FIFA Bureau, featuring the six regional football confederation presidents, said the Russian flag and anthem can't be associated with the team playing as "Football Union of Russia (RFU)."

FIFA will continue its ongoing dialogue with the IOC, UEFA and other sport organizations to determine any additional measures or sanctions, FIFA said in a statement, "including a potential exclusion from competitions, that shall be applied in the near future should the situation not be improving rapidly.

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