Is Russian football threatened by total isolation? Places before the meeting of the year in FIFA
What is needed to exclude the RFU from the football family and what are the chances of our delegation? According to our insiders – everything is not so bad.
The annual FIFA planning congress will take place in Qatar on March 31. For Russian football, the meeting of all 211 members of the international federation is critical. The issue of suspending the RFU’s membership in FIFA and, in the worst case, expulsion from the organization may be considered at the meeting. What can fans expect from this day? What are the hopes of Russian football officials? And what will happen if the worst-case scenarios come true? The answers to the main questions are in this text.
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Will the RFU delegation be at the congress?
According to our information, the visit of the RFU delegation to Doha for several more days was under great question. But in the end, she will still go there – and that’s a good sign. We can assume that if the football family had been unequivocally inclined to exclude Russia from its membership, the representatives of our country would simply not have been invited to the meeting.
Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, “Championship”
In Qatar, Russian football will be represented by RFU Secretary General Alexander Alaev and former chairman of the organizing committees for the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 Alexei Sorokin. Both members of the delegation have a trusting and strong relationship with international football officials, so their choice is logical.
There is no item on the agenda to consider the status of the RFU in FIFA. But that may change
Alexei Sorokin told the “Championship” yesterday that there is no item on the congress agenda to change the status of the RFU (or even to exclude it from FIFA). It would seem – everything is fine. But under the fourth point there is something like: “Suspension or expulsion of a member of the organization.” According to our sources, this item implies consideration of the status of the football federations of Zimbabwe and Kenya. The question of the fate of the RFU is not on the agenda. But no one is preventing any of the members of Congress from raising the issue of the status of Russian football. Sorokin holds the same opinion:
– I do not expect radical action against the RFU. There is a principle: football is out of politics. In addition, the Russian Football Federation has not done anything for which we could be expelled.
The agenda is already there. As far as I know, the issue of discussing our status, exceptions and everything else is not on the agenda. But, of course, like any question, it can arise in the process of discussion.
I would not like that to happen. We do not think that we have done something that can be discussed. We hope and believe in the best.
For example, the issue of exclusion was raised. What is needed to make a decision?
According to the charter of the FIFA Congress, the issue will be put to a vote. 75% of congress participants must vote in favor of deciding to exclude / suspend the RFU. That is, out of 211 members, the ban on Russian football should be supported by 158 countries.
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What are the layouts before the meeting?
According to our information, the exclusion of the RFU is the least likely development. The international federation does not want to go for it. According to our sources, the position of FIFA and UEFA at the moment is as follows: “After the situation normalizes, let’s sit down and talk about the return of Russia.”
By this logic, the two main scenarios are as follows:
- suspension of RFU activities;
- the current situation of Russian football (ban on participation in international matches until further notice) remains in force. No other punitive measures will be taken.
At the moment, sources estimate the second option as the most likely.
Sports lawyer Mikhail Prokopets is not waiting for sharp decisions either.
“I believe that the FIFA Congress will not exclude the RFU. Nothing has changed dramatically in the world since the previous decision. The suspension of participation in the tournaments was after the decision of the IOC, which dropped its recommendations downwards. I see no reason why FIFA should make an even tougher decision. Anyone can support our exception, but the decision is not made on the fly. This issue must be included in the agenda. But FIFA shows that it does not want to make sudden moves. “
What will happen if the RFU membership is suspended?
If the congress session goes according to a bad scenario for us and the RFU membership is suspended, it will mean a total ban on participation in international matches of the national team and clubs, as well as a ban on international transfers. To put it mildly, there will be nothing pleasant in such a decision. If they decide to expel us from FIFA at all (although this option is the least likely), the RFU will also ban matches and transfers, but the return to the football family will be very long.
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But even in the case of the suspension of our country’s activities in FIFA (which, roughly speaking, means the activities in UEFA) in the RFU is not currently considering the option of leaving the Asian confederation. RFU plans to stay in European football after the restrictions are lifted.