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FIFA Makes Decision On Russia: Soccer World Reacts

Russia national soccer team plays in the World Cup.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - JULY 07: Russia players watch the peanlty shoot out during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Quarter Final match between Russia and Croatia at Fisht Stadium on July 7, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Ahead of the World Cup qualifying games between Russia, Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, FIFA has responded to the latter three's petition to not play against the Russian team amid the nation's invasion of Ukraine.

FIFA is expected to announce that the games will go on. But Russia will be made to play in a neutral venue without an anthem, fans or flags. Russia was supposed to host their upcoming game against Poland and potentially a game after that against Sweden or the Czech Republic depending on the results.

Soccer insider Tariq Panja speculated that the FIFA decision will not be enough to satisfy the three teams in the qualifying round. Fans seem to agree.

On Twitter, people are ridiculing FIFA for coming down with what they see as a soft punishment. Many compare it to the situation at the Olympics, where Russia was allowed to compete under the Russian Olympic Committee after a doping scandal:

For decades FIFA has taken a multitude of actions falling well short of banning nations involved in political disputes. Maybe this time will be different. But past decision suggest that another option is on the table.

If Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all refuse to play, FIFA may award Russia wins via forfeit. That would send Russia directly to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar without having to play either one.

We may see FIFA hold in this pattern for several weeks in hopes that a peaceful resolution is reached. But if it isn't they'll be forced to act in a very controversial way.

Will FIFA fully ban Russia from competing in the World Cup?