UEFA announced on Monday that Russia has been disqualified from numerous upcoming soccer tournaments around the world due to Russian president Vladimir Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's national and club teams will not be able to compete in the Women’s European Championship, the next men’s Champions League and the 2023 Women's World Cup qualifiers, as well as a number of other UEFA events.
UEFA and FIFA had suspended Russia from all international tournaments, including the men's World Cup, back in February when Putin's invasion began. But UEFA made it official on Monday, giving Russia's national and club teams the boot from its soccer competitions. UEFA has also rejected Russia's bid to host the 2028 and 2032 Euros, which came after Putin's invasion of Ukraine had started.
Russia, Belarus continue to be banned
Players and teams from Russia and Belarus (whose dictatorial leader Alexander Lukashenko supports Russia's invasion) have been banned or disqualified from numerous sporting events due to Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Here's a sampling:
The International Paralympic Committee banned all Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in March's Paralympics.
Russian figure skaters were banned from competing in international events by the International Skating Union.
Haas F1 cut ties with Nikita Mazepin and team sponsor Uralkali.
Russian and Belarusian gymnasts and officials were banned from international events by the International Gymnastics Federation.
The Boston Marathon banned runners from Russia and Belarus from participating in the 2022 race.
Wimbledon banned players from Russia and Belarus, including world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia and world No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, a move that drew the scorn of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Russia has even been banned from participating in video game soccer matches, as EA Sports announced in March that Russian clubs were being removed from "FIFA 22."
It's unclear what these many organizations believe will be gained by banning Russian and Belarusian players from sporting events. Russia's political and military actions are not necessarily reflective of the personal feelings of those athletes, or anyone living in Russia or Belarus. Despite that, both countries have continued to be banned or disqualified from sporting events around the world, essentially punishing athletes for something they have no control over.