FIFA and the IOC finally exclude Russia
That's it...there will be no Russia at the 2022 World Cup after the national side have been suspended from the forthcoming play-off games. None of the other three nations in their play-off wanted to play the Russians and of the three, Poland who were set to play in Moscow later this month, were the most outspoken as they share a border with the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin's brutal aggression has outraged the world and FIFA eventually made the decision which has its precedents. Post World War II, both Germany and Japan were excluded from the qualifying process for the 1950 World Cup and South Africa were banned by FIFA ahead of the 1966 competition due to their apartheid regime.
Eventually Germany and Japan were invited back to the fold with the German side going on to win the 1954 tournament and when apartheid was abolished in South Africa, they too returned to competing at international level. As things stand, we don't know how the Russian situation will unfold but this measure will be key in getting a message through to the man in the street with Russian state media pushing a strong pro-Putin propaganda message. I still maintain that football is the most important thing of the least important but it's vital that the Russian people are made aware of the real consequences after their leader decided to invade Ukraine.
The International Olympic Committee too have decided to act with a strong recommendation that all their federations suspend contact with Russia and Belarus (who are complicit in their support of Putin's actions). Despite it being just a 'recommendation', I'm sure that all the respective federations will fall into line and is a stronger posture from the previous directive with Russia conducting attacks on Ukraine in the very same week where the curtain came down on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. At least they had the wisdom to rectify their previous ambiguous stance and announce a more rigorous approach given the gravity of the unfolding situation.