FIFA will not ban Russia from participating in a World Cup playoff next month, but the governing body is instituting some sanctions against the country, per a new report.
According to Tariq Panja of the New York Times, FIFA is set to announce that Russia must play its matches in a neutral venue, without a national anthem, fans or a flag. This decision comes in the wake of pressure to ban Russia from World Cup competition due to its invasion of Ukraine.
While no ban is currently being implemented, FIFA could change its mind if Russia remains involved in Ukraine, Panja says.
Last week, Poland announced it would not play against Russia in a scheduled World Cup qualifying match on March 24. Sweden and the Czech Republic later declared they also will not face Russia due to the ongoing invasion.
“No more words, time to act,” Polish soccer federation president Cezary Kulesza said. “Due to the escalation of the aggression of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine, the Polish national team does not intend to play the play-off match against the republic of Poland. Russia. This is the only right decision. We are in talks with the Sweden and Czech Republic federations to present a common position to FIFA.”
Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is set to begin next month.