Russia is considering a switch away from UEFA in order to join the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The Russian Football Union (RFU) has already supposedly scheduled a meeting to discuss the potential move. Sources at ESPN claim that the summit will take place on Friday.
The Russia national soccer team, as well as all clubs inside the country, are currently suspended by FIFA and UEFA. Sanctions by the sport’s governing bodies were handed down following February’s invasion of Ukraine. And as the war continues, so does the suspension.
UEFA selected St. Petersburg as the host of the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final in May until the governing body switched the match to Paris due to the invasion.
Official calls UEFA countries ‘unfriendly’
Russia remains banned from playing. However, it believes a return to action can happen sooner with a switch to Asia. Yet, a ban from FIFA persists. There is no clear end on that indefinite ban, nor is there a foreseen conclusion on Russia’s military advances in Ukraine.
“In the current geopolitical realities, the presence of the RFU in UEFA contradicts the national interests of Russia,” Roman Teryushkov, the deputy of the State Duma, told sports.ru. “It is impossible to build sports friendship with countries unfriendly to us and with constant poking from the collective West.”
Russia final decision on UEFA switch to AFC could occur Friday
Also, the aforementioned report claims a previous meeting occurred prior to Christmas about the switch. Friday’s forum could lead to a final decision on the move to Asia. Most of Russia’s landmass is technically in Asia. Although a majority of their citizens live in the European section of the nation.
UEFA is monitoring the situation and will certainly ask for clarification on Russia’s intensions. No team has ever left Europe’s governing body of the sport before.
However, the Asian federation has allowed countries from outside of the continent to join the group. Australia previously left the Oceania confederation to play in Asia in 2006.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Russian Look
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