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It's unthinkable that Russia can play in the World Cup play-off

Update:

This weekend I've seen plenty of Stop War and its Spanish translation of ‘No a la guerra’ messages when watching LaLiga games and it made me reflect. Of course, none of us want a war but I'd prefer that the message read ‘No to the invasion of Ukraine’, or indeed STOP PUTIN. The attack by Russia is inhumane and of course this has led to war, but only a war that one side has sought. The condemnation should be stronger and make the average Russian aware of the damage the attack is causing to the nation's reputation globally. Many already know, the braver have taken to the streets in protest but the message needs to reach the average man and woman who are being fed lies by the state run media outlets.

UEFA react

I've been very encouraged by some of the reactions from many in the world of sport. Apart from Russian UEFA committee member Dmitri Peskov, no-one has spoken out about UEFA's decision to stage the Champions League final in Paris and not in Vladimir Putin's home town of Saint Petersburg. Despite UEFA's relationship with Gazprom, they moved quickly in condemning he attacks and held an emergency meeting to deal with the situation. Their decision to move the final and not permit any of their competitions to take place on Russian soil sends a powerful message to everyone.

Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2022 FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao players pose behind a banner in support of Ukraine before the match REUTERS/Albert Gea
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Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2022 FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao players pose behind a banner in support of Ukraine before the match REUTERS/Albert GeaALBERT GEAREUTERS

FIFA position

Other steps subsequently followed form the likes of EuroLeague basketball and Formula 1 but it has to be said that the position adopted by FIFA has been underwhelming as they refuse to properly address Russia's participation in the March World Cup play-off game. Here, the prospect of neutral venues or not displaying flags have little impact as it's the national team, the representative of an war-waging nation, a country that is becoming isolated from the rest of the world and whose national teams should not be permitted to participate at any international sporting events. Maybe these steps would fail to amend Putin's position but it would send a strong message and one that would reach the man in the (Russian) street.

FILED - 05 July 2019, France, Lyon: FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa
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FILED - 05 July 2019, France, Lyon: FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at a press conference. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpaDPA vía Europa Press