If you were expecting FIFA to impose harsh sanctions on Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, then you might have to wait a little while long.
Soccer world governing body on Sunday announced some actions against Russia, but not severe ones. They were more of the milquetoast variety.
The country’s national team won’t be allowed to compete under the name Russia, but under the name of the Football Union of Russia. FIFA also voted unanimously to ban all international matches on Russian territory until further notice. All home games must be played at neutral venues and without spectators.
Also, the country’s flag or anthem will not be allowed during matches. FIFA, though, decided not to ban Russia from the World Cup qualifiers, especially in the wake of Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden said they would refuse to play against the squad.
“Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine,” FIFA said in a statement. “FIFA calls again for the urgent restoration of peace and for constructive dialogue to commence immediately.”
FIFA’s reaction sounded similar to the International Olympic Committee’s decisions during the recent Beijing Winter Olympics, when the organization did not come down harshly on Russia or figure skater Kamila Valieva during her doping scandal.
“FIFA will remain in close contact to seek and to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together,” soccer’s governing body said in another statement. “FIFA’s thoughts remain with everybody affected by this shocking and worrying situation.”