Russia was ejected from this summer’s European women’s soccer championship and barred from qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Monday, deepening a sporting isolation that resulted from the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, announced its decisions Monday. Along with barring Russia’s team from the 2 biggest competitions in women’s soccer, the governing body said it had suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from UEFA competitions until further notice.
Russian clubs were also barred from all UEFA competitions — including the Champions League, the richest club competition in soccer — for the 2022-23 season.
The punishments had previously been applied most prominently to Russian men’s teams, tossing Russia out of qualifying for this yr’s World Cup in Qatar when it needed only two more wins to earn a spot in the sector and ejecting a Russian club, Spartak Moscow, from the knockout rounds of the Europa League.
Russia’s women had missed two World Cup qualifiers in April consequently of the sooner ban on its teams, but UEFA had postponed a choice on its participation at the ladies’s Euros, which open in July in England. Now, with the event approaching and plenty of countries on record saying they’d not play against a Russian team, it was left with little alternative.
Portugal will replace Russia on the European Championship, taking its place in a gaggle that features two of the tournament favorites — the Netherlands and Sweden — in addition to Switzerland. Russia had defeated Portugal in a playoff to qualify for the event.
Several international sports leagues and organizations have dropped Russia and Russian athletes from competition because the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February, in sports as varied as tennis, soccer, auto racing and track and field. Last week, Russia was stripped of the hosting rights for next yr’s world ice hockey championships.
Russia has vowed to fight a number of the punishment against its teams and athletes on the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, the body accountable for adjudicating disputes in sports. (It has nearly a dozen complaints filed with the court already.) And never everyone has agreed with blanket bans on Russian athletes.
After Wimbledon, under pressure from the British government, confirmed that it might not allow Russian and Belarusian players to take part in the grass-court tennis tournament this summer, the governing bodies for the lads’s and ladies’s tours each expressed concern in regards to the decision.
The ATP, which runs the lads’s tour, called it “unfair” and said it had “the potential to set a dangerous precedent for the sport.”
The WTA, which oversees the ladies’s tour, said: “Individual athletes shouldn’t be penalized or prevented from competing as a result of where they’re from or the choices made by the governments of their countries. Discrimination, and the choice to focus such discrimination against athletes competing on their very own as individuals, is neither fair nor justified.”
On Sunday, the highest men’s players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal added their voices to the criticism.
“It’s not their fault what’s happening on this moment with the war,” Nadal, a 21-time Grand Slam winner, said in Spain, calling a number of the affected players “my Russian teammates, my colleagues.”
“I’m sorry for them,” Nadal said. “Wimbledon just took their decision. The federal government didn’t force them to do it.”