Paris (AFP) – Russia should be expelled from the 2022 World Cup after invading Ukraine, French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet told Le Parisien newspaper on Sunday.
On the fourth day of the invasion, Ukrainians and Russians said they were ready for talks to halt a conflict that has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
France were crowned world champions in 2018 after beating Croatia in the final in Moscow.
“The world of sport, and especially football, cannot remain neutral. I certainly would not oppose the expulsion of Russia,” said Le Graet.
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic have all refused to play Russia in the World Cup play-offs.
Poland are due to play Russia in Moscow on March 24 and should the hosts win they would host the winners of the match between the Czechs and the Swedes on March 29.
Le Graet concurred with the trio’s stance.
“In these dramatic circumstances, how can one envisage playing football against this country,” he said.
FIFA have yet to take any action against Russia saying on Thursday they were “concerned” by the “tragic” situation with president Gianni Infantino saying the World governing body had the capacity to take action on the play-off matches at “any moment”.
European governing body UEFA did take action on Friday, stripping Saint Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena of the Champions League final on May 28 and awarding the showpiece match to the Stade de France in Paris.
UEFA are also believed to be debating whether to cancel their sponsorship deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom, whose majority shareholder is the Russian state.
Gazprom renewed the contract in May 2021 to run to 2024.The deal to sponsor the Champions League is worth a reported 40 million euros ($45 million) a year.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Liverpool will ‘come again’ after anticlimactic end to stellar season
- ‘I can’t do much more’ to win Ballon d’Or – Benzema
- Families of Liverpool staff caught up in Champions League final chaos – Klopp
- ‘Fake tickets’ to blame for Champions League final delay, UEFA say
- Real Madrid win Champions League; Ancelotti breaks record
- Ancelotti keeps calm amid the storm to make Real Madrid champions again
- Which European soccer teams are touring the USA in summer 2022?
- Vinicius strikes as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Champions League final
- ‘Fake tickets’ to blame for Champions League final delay say UEFA
- Champions League final kicks off late due to ‘fiasco’ outside Stade de France