FIFA to Greenlight Russian Youth Soccer National Teams' Return to Action

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FIFA to Greenlight Russian Youth Soccer National Teams’ Return to Action

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FIFA to Consider Reintegrating Russian Youth Teams, Easing Ban Amid Ukraine Conflict

FIFA is poised to discuss and likely approve the reintegration of Russian youth teams into under-17 competitions and a potential easing of the total international ban on the country, given the ongoing war in Ukraine. The FIFA Council, led by President Gianni Infantino, will convene an online meeting to address these matters.

This development follows a recent decision by UEFA, the European soccer governing body, to welcome back Russian national youth teams into its competitions, a move that stirred controversy among its executive committee and member federations.

The ban on Russian national and club teams from international soccer competitions was initially imposed by FIFA and UEFA in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Despite the ban, some European teams had already declined to play against Russian teams.

If FIFA approves the reintegration, Russian youth teams would participate without their national symbols, such as the flag and anthem, and only in away games. UEFA also emphasized that children should not bear the consequences of actions for which adults are responsible.

This decision would impact qualifying groups for the upcoming European Under-17 Championship, scheduled to start this month. The ban on Russian teams was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which agreed that FIFA and UEFA were obligated to ensure competitions were held with security and integrity, free from disruptions.

The expected move to reintegrate Russian youth teams aligns with UEFA’s stance and contradicts the International Olympic Committee’s advice, which recommends maintaining bans on Russian teams in team sports while allowing approved individuals to compete with neutral status. The neutrality criteria include not publicly supporting the war and not being affiliated with the military or security agencies.

Reference:

https://ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/ap-top-news/2023/10/04/fifa-set-to-approve-letting-russian-youth-soccer-national-teams-return-to-competition#:~:text=GENEVA%20(AP)%20%E2%80%94%20FIFA%20is,amid%20the%20war%20in%20Ukraine.

https://krdo.com/news/2023/10/04/fifa-set-to-approve-letting-russian-youth-soccer-national-teams-return-to-competition/

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