ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott outlines the significance of the ban and what it means for the future of Russian representation across all sporting competitions.
Meanwhile, sports federations and event organisers have been told by the International Olympic Committee that Russian and Belarusian athletes should not be allowed to participate in international competitions after Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine.
The IOC said it was forced to issue the advice over the “current war in Ukraine” which is preventing many Ukrainian athletes from competing “because of the attack on their country”.
Last week it urged all sports to relocate or cancel any events planned to be held in Russia or Belarus after both Uefa and Formula 1 blocked the country from hosting two major events there.
And in a move likely to disappoint martial arts fan Vladimir Putin, World Taekwondo said it was stripping Russia’s leader of the honourary 9th dan black belt it awarded him in 2013.
Russia has been suspended from all FIFA and UEFA competitions, the governing bodies have announced in a joint statement.
The suspension means Russia will be excluded from the men’s World Cup qualification play-offs due to be held in March unless there was to be a sudden improvement in the political situation.
UEFA has also suspended its partnership with Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, which was worth £80 million and included sponsorship of the Champions League and Euro 2024.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has suspended all Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from all competitions until further notice.
Russia has also lost hosting rights for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.
“The IIHF strongly condemns the use of military force and urges the use of diplomatic means to solve the conflict,” read an IIHF statement.
The Swiss Football Association has said its women’s team will not play Russia in July at the European Championship, as had been planned.
It said in a statement that is “condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine, which not only blatantly violates international law but also the universal values of football, such as the promotion of friendly relations”.
The two sides had been due to compete at Uefa’s Women’s Euro tournament in England on July 9, 2022.
The British Olympic Association issued a statement calling for the removal of Russia and Belarus from all top sporting competition.
“The British Olympic Association, together with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Germany, demands the immediate exclusion of Russia and Belarus from the international sports family until further notice,” read a BOA statement.
“We call on the international sports federations to ban athletes representing Russia and Belarus from competitions for the time being and to suspend Russian and Belarusian officials from their positions”.
“We stand united with the people, athletes and the Olympic family of Ukraine, following this unacceptable and unwarranted declaration of war against them.”
FC Schalke 04
German football club Schalke club Schalke said it had decided to end its longstanding partnership with Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.
On top of withdrawing Putin’s honourary black belt, World Taekwondo said no Russian or Belarusian national flags or anthems would be displayed or played at World Taekwondo events.
It added that World Taekwondo and the European Taekwondo Union will not organise or recognise Taekwondo events in Russia and Belarus.
The body said it “strongly condemns the brutal attacks on innocent lives in Ukraine”.
Manchester United is the latest to distance itself from Russia, announcing it had abandoned Aeroflot as a sponsor after the government banned all its aircrafts from landing on UK soil. Aeroflot is the largest airline of Russia.
A spokesperson for the club said: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights”.
“We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”
Formula 1 announced Russia will no longer host a Grand Prix in Sochi after “watching the developments in Ukraine”.
In a statement, Formula 1 said: “We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation”.
“On Thursday evening Formula 1, the FIA, and the teams discussed the position of our sport, and the conclusion is, including the view of all relevant stakeholders, that it is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.”
Sochi in Russia loses the F1 Grand Prix scheduled for September. “It is impossible to hold the Russian Grand Prix in the current circumstances.” https://t.co/ketBQ6TEYM
— Steve Scott (@stevescott_itv) February 25, 2022
Champions League final
UEFA announced Russia would no longer be allowed to host the Champions League final this year, with the event to take place in France instead.
The match, which was due to be held in St Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena will now be held in Paris’s Stade de France in Saint-Denis, following a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee.
The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday May 28 at 9pm local time – 8pm in the UK.
The committee also ruled that Russia and Ukraine’s national teams, along with clubs from either country, must play UEFA matches in neutral venues “until further notice.”
In a statement, Uefa thanked French president Emmanuel Macron for helping to move the fixture and said it would “fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”
The 2021/22 #UCLfinal will move from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.
Full statement ⬇️
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 25, 2022
The Royal Opera House in London has cancelled the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet’s planned summer tour in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre and Northampton’s The Royal & Derngate Theatre have axed the Russian State Ballet’s tour in the wake of the Ukraine attacks.
Russia’s top basketball teams CSKA Moscow, UNICS Kazan and Zenit Saint Petersburg are among the top teams in Europe but a number of opposing players do not want to play against them in Russia.
Barcelona’s Alex Abrines, for example, has said he “would prefer not to travel” to Russia for upcoming games against CSKA and Zenit.
In addition, Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that she had cancelled the visas of the Belarusian Men’s Basketball Team who were due to play in Newcastle on Sunday, February 27.
She wrote: “The UK will not welcome the national sports teams of those countries who are complicit in Putin’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.”
Five World Cup skiing events due to take place in Russia have been cancelled or moved, the International Ski Federation (FIS) said on Friday.
The sporting body said: “FIS has decided that in the interest of the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup, that all remaining World Cup events scheduled to take place in Russia between now and the end of the 2021-22 season will be cancelled or moved to another location.”
It added: “Participants are already on site at the two World Cup events that were planned for this weekend (Ski Cross and Aerials) and FIS is working closely with the involved stakeholders to ensure their quick return back home.”
The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) is due to hold the men’s world championships across 10 Russian cities at the end of August, but said it is “closely monitoring” the situation in Ukraine.
In a statement it said: “The FIVB is working in close collaboration with the Russian Volleyball Federation and Organising Committee Volleyball 2022 in preparation for various volleyball and beach volleyball events set to be held in the country which are progressing as planned”.
“While the FIVB believes that sport should always remain separate from politics, we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants at our events which is our top priority.”
In recent years, Russian athletes participating in the Olympics were not allowed to use the Russian flag and Russian name, they had to participate under a representative – the Russian Olympic Committee.
The International Judo Federation has suspended Russian President Vladimir Putin as its honorary President, it announced on Sunday.
In a statement, the IJF said “In light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of Mr Vladimir Putin’s status as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation.”
The International Biathlon Union has banned athletes from competing in its events on behalf of Russian and Belarus. The IBU said it “strongly condemned” Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a statement on their website.