Russia was eliminated from the European Women’s Soccer Championship this summer and was barred from qualifying for the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Monday, exacerbating the ban on sports due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
UEFA, the governing body of European football, announced its decision on Monday. In addition to barring the Russian team from participating in two major women’s soccer tournaments, the football governing body has said it has banned national teams and all Russian clubs from participating in the UEFA tournament until further notice.
Russian clubs have also been barred from participating in all UEFA competitions – including the Champions League, the richest club competition in football – for the 2022-23 season.
The sanctions were previously applied to Russian men’s teams, knocking Russia out of this year’s World Cup qualifiers in Qatar when it needed only two wins to secure a place on the pitch and thrust out Russian club Spartak Moscow. Europa League knockout rounds.
The Russian women had missed two World Cup qualifiers in April due to an earlier ban on their teams, but UEFA had postponed its decision to participate in the Women’s Euro Championship, which will open in July in the UK. Now, with the event approaching with many countries on record saying they would not play against the Russian team, it was left with no choice.
Portugal will take Russia’s place in the European Championships, taking its place in the group that includes the two most popular teams in the tournament – the Netherlands and Sweden – as well as Switzerland. Russia had beaten Portugal in a qualifier for the match.
Several leagues and international organizations have eliminated Russian and Russian athletes from competitions since the country invaded Ukraine in February, in various sports such as tennis, football, motor racing and athletics. Last week, Russia was denied the right to host the world ice hockey tournament next year.
Russia has vowed to crack down on certain teams and athletes in the Swiss Arbitration for Sport, a body responsible for resolving disputes in sports. (It has almost several complaints filed with the court already.) And not everyone has agreed to the blanket ban on Russian athletes.
After Wimbledon, under pressure from the British government, confirmed that it would not allow Russian and Belarus players to take part in a grassroots tennis tournament this summer, both men and women tour guides expressed concern over the decision. .
The ATP, which runs the men’s tour, called it “unfair” and said it had “the ability to set an example of damage to the game.”
The WTA, which oversees the women’s tour, stated: “Individual athletes should not be penalized or prevented from competing in competitions based on their place of origin or decisions made by their respective governments. Discrimination, and the decision to expose such discrimination against competing athletes as individuals, is neither fair nor fair. ”
On Sunday, senior male players Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal raised their voices in criticism.
“It’s not their fault that this is happening in this war,” Nadal, a 21-time Grand Slam winner, said in Spain, calling some of the affected players “My fellow Russian players, my teammates.”
“Sorry for them,” Nadal said. “Wimbledon took their decision. The government did not force them to do so.”