Politics and Sports Mix as Russia Returns to Soccer Despite FIFA Suspension

The Political and Sporty Side of Russia’s International Football Games Despite Suspension by FIFA and UEFA

Russia, still finding ways to participate in international football despite being banned by FIFA and UEFA for the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has been playing against friendly opponents linked to its allies in various global issues. The nation has recently played games against Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Iran, as well as taken part in the inaugural Central Asian Football Championship. Although it may seem like the Russian Football Association is doing nothing wrong, the country’s actions have led to numerous international sanctions and affected the nation’s ability to participate in major competitions. As Russia continues to face political isolation from Western nations, the country has been reaching out to non-western ones like Iran and Central Asian nations. With AFC President Sheikh Salman Al Khalifa’s recent comments, there is speculation that Russia may even join the AFC instead of UEFA in the future. Nevertheless, international sport continues to mirror international politics and self-interest, and Russia’s football games serve as a reflection of that reality.

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