UEFA extends sanctions on Russian teams

·2-min read

UEFA have announced more sweeping sanctions on Russian soccer clubs, national teams and the federation itself, following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia's women's team has been expelled from this summer's Women's European Championship finals and 2023 Women's World Cup qualifying.

The men's team, already thrown out of this year's World Cup qualifying, have been relegated in the Nations Cup without playing next season's matches.

Their clubs have been banned from all European competitions next season.

Russia's bids to host the men's Euros in 2028 or 2032 - both launched since the war started -- were also terminated, with UEFA, the game's European governing body, ruling them ineligible on Tuesday.

FIFA and UEFA suspended Russian national and club teams in February.

Those decisions -- made as countries across Europe refused to play games against Russia -- are under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport by the Russian Football Union and the latest expulsions are also likely to be challenged.

UEFA said Portugal will take Russia's place in the Women's Euro 2022 being hosted by England in July. Russia qualified by beating Portugal in the playoffs.

Russian Premier League winner Zenit St. Petersburg's place in the next Champions League group stage will go to the champion of Scotland, likely to be Ange Postecoglou's Celtic. Russia also will not have entries in next season's Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Russia will also not play in its second-tier group of the men's Nations League and will be automatically relegated, UEFA said. Scheduled opponents in June and September were Iceland, Israel and Albania.

UEFA said its executive committee took the latest decisions to "ensure their smooth staging in a safe and secure environment for all those concerned."

Soccer in Ukraine was suspended when the war started on February 24. Its top clubs, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv, are touring Europe playing charity games and the national team will resume its own delayed World Cup qualifying program in June.

Ukraine will play at Scotland on June 1. The winner advances to play Wales in Cardiff four days later with a place at the World Cup in Qatar at stake.

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