The North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic (NACAC) has joined other associations around the world in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week The World Athletics Council imposed sanctions against its Member Federations of Russia and Belarus as a consequence of the invasion.

As a result athletes, support personnel, and officials from Russia and Belarus will be excluded from all World Athletics Series events for the foreseeable future, with immediate effect.  Adding its voice to the chorus the Caribbean body condemned the loss of life and property.

“NACAC today issues a very strong condemnation of the recent decision by Russia to invade the country of Ukraine and starting a war that will incur significant loss of lives, the destruction of the country’s economy and leaving untold numbers without homes and places of work,” a release issued by the organization read.

“NACAC is extremely proud that the athletes of the world have let their voices join those of millions around who vehemently reject the Russian invasion and its seeming disregard for all norms of democracy and international law,” he added.

“As a member of World Athletics, NACAC has been a party to all Congress decisions to impose sanctions on Russia for the numerous infractions of the organization’s competition rules and failure to satisfy all conditions required for a return to full participation in its global events. We understand only too well the evidence of State-sponsored doping that has characterised the Russian athletics program,” it added.

“Today, NACAC acknowledges that genuine leadership requires of us the airing of our condemnation of a government that has shown a complete lack of respect for peace and international understanding, two of the most fundamental principles for which sport exists. As the world’s leading sport for individuals, the entire athletics fraternity must be unified in this condemnation and ensure that there is no room for Russia to manoeuvre in sport to achieve its government’s ugly and most despicable aggression against Ukraine. We ask the same in respect of the government of Belarus that has made clear its support for the actions undertaken by Russia in respect of Ukraine.

We agree with the athletes of the world and encourage those of our sport to continue to make their voices heard, loud enough to have the desired impact, an end to Russian aggression against Ukraine and a return to international peace.”

Russia and Belarus have been suspended from all International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) competitions at both national and club levels.

The IIHF announced the sanctions on Monday following an extraordinary meeting of its Council in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, with neighbouring Belarus effectively used as a staging post for Russian military.

The suspension prohibits Russian and Belarusian national teams and clubs from "participation in every age category and in all IIHF competitions or events until further notice".

In addition, Russia has been stripped of hosting rights for the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

A statement from the IIHF read in part: "These two actions have been initiated by the Council in order to enable the IIHF to ensure the safety of IIHF Championships and all participating players, officials, and fans.

"The IIHF Council has not left out the possibility of further actions impacting future events or other IIHF activities but hopes above all for a swift and peaceful resolution to the war."

"The IIHF is not a political entity and cannot influence the decisions being taken over the war in Ukraine," said IIHF President Luc Tardif.

"We nevertheless have a duty of care to all of our members and participants and must therefore do all we can to ensure that we are able to operate our events in a safe environment for all teams taking part in the IIHF World Championship program.

"We were incredibly shocked to see the images that have come out of Ukraine. I have been in close contact with members of the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine and we hope for all Ukrainians that this conflict can be resolved in a peaceful way and without the need for further violence."

 

The Russian Football Union (RFU) has responded to the ban of Russian teams by FIFA and UEFA, saying it "categorically disagrees with" and could yet challenge the decision.

The two governing bodies have suspended Russian teams from club and international competitions until further notice, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League, where they had been set to face RB Leipzig in the last 16.

The sanctions were imposed on Russia on Monday following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine last week.

A subsequent statement from the RFU suggested it could investigate avenues for an appeal "in accordance with international sports law".

It read: "The Russian Football Union categorically disagrees with the decision of FIFA and UEFA to suspend all Russian teams from participating in international matches for an indefinite period.

"We believe that this decision is contrary to the norms and principles of international competitions, as well as to the sporting spirit.

"It is obviously discriminatory in nature and harms a huge number of athletes, coaches, employees of clubs and national teams, and most importantly, millions of Russian and foreign fans, whose interests international sports organisations should primarily protect.

"Such actions divide the world sports community, which has always adhered to the principles of equality, mutual respect and independence from politics.

"We reserve the right to challenge the decision of FIFA and UEFA in accordance with international sports law."

FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from club and international competitions, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

The decision means Spartak Moscow will be removed from the Europa League last 16, where they were due to face RB Leipzig.

UEFA has also ended its relationship with Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy giant that was a major sponsor of the Champions League.

A joint statement from FIFA and UEFA read: "Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.

"Both presidents [Gianni Infantino and Aleksander Ceferin] hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

The sporting world has called for sanctions to be imposed on Russia following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine last week.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – Russia's World Cup play-off opponents – all announced an intention to boycott their fixtures, although FIFA's initial sanctions allowed the Russian Football Union to put forward a team playing under a different name and flag in a neutral location.

But this FIFA decision was widely criticised, including by players' union FIFPro, which wanted more than "the lightest of sanctions" and said Russia's continued involvement in international competition was "not a possibility".

That was a view shared on Monday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which said Russian and Belarusian athletes should be excluded from sporting events to "protect the integrity of global sports competitions".

FIFA subsequently changed its stance in a joint-announcement with UEFA, ruling Russia – hosts of the 2018 World Cup – out of tournaments including this year's two showpiece events in Qatar and England.

Russia were set to face Poland and then either Sweden or the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying, while they had already reached the Women's Euros, drawn into a group with Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

FIFA and UEFA have banned Russian teams from club and international competitions, denying them entry to the 2022 World Cup and Women's Euro 2022.

The United States on Monday joined the growing number of nations to refuse to line up against Russia at any level of football.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine last Thursday has led to widespread condemnation across the globe, and the world of sport has also responded strongly.

In football, UEFA stripped St Petersburg of this season's Champions League final and ordered any Russian teams featuring in their club competitions to play their home matches at neutral venues.

Over the weekend, the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – who were drawn in the same play-off pathway as Russia in next month's World Cup qualifiers – insisted they would not play against the Russian team, while the English FA also stated they would boycott any upcoming matches against Russia at any level.

On Sunday, FIFA announced Russia would have to play all matches under a neutral banner, at neutral venues behind closed doors, without their flag being displayed or their anthem played, although the decision was criticised as it stopped short of a ban on the national team.

The pressure on FIFA to hand out stricter punishment grew further on Monday, as the United States Soccer Federation confirmed it would not play against Russia in a strong statement.

"The U.S. Soccer Federation stands united with the people of Ukraine and is unequivocal in our denunciation of the heinous and inhumane invasion by Russia," the statement read. 

"We will neither tarnish our global name, or dishonour Ukraine, by taking the same field as Russia, no matter the level of competition or circumstance, until freedom and peace have been restored."

Earlier on Monday, the International Olympic Committee said athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus, whose government has abetted the Ukraine invasion through military access, should not be allowed to take part in any international sporting competition.

Athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus should be prevented from taking part in all international sporting competitions, the International Olympic Committee said.

In a statement issued on Monday, the IOC's executive board accused the governments of Russia and Belarus of a "breach of the Olympic Truce" following the attack on Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, with neighbouring Belarus effectively used as a staging post for Russian military.

The IOC accepted athletes from both countries did not deserve to be punished simply for the actions of their governments. However, because the war in Ukraine prevents many Ukrainians from taking part in sporting events, the IOC said they were left with "a dilemma which cannot be solved".

It added: "The IOC EB has therefore today carefully considered the situation and, with a heavy heart, issued the following resolution:

"In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.

"Wherever this is not possible on short notice for organisational or legal reasons, the IOC EB strongly urges International Sports Federations and organisers of sports events worldwide to do everything in their power to ensure that no athlete or sports official from Russia or Belarus be allowed to take part under the name of Russia or Belarus. Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as individuals or teams, should be accepted only as neutral athletes or neutral teams. No national symbols, colours, flags or anthems should be displayed."

The IOC's announcement is expected to hasten a decision from FIFA over whether Russia will be allowed to compete in the World Cup play-offs in March.

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all declared they would not play against Russia due to the Ukraine conflict, but world football's governing body initially chose only to ban the country's anthem and flag from matches and order them to play as the Football Union of Russia (RFU).

Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev was confirmed as the new leader of the ATP world rankings on Monday, becoming the first man since Andy Roddick in 2004 to become world number one other than Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

Scotland remain in contact with FIFA and UEFA regarding World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine, while the Scottish FA (SFA) confirmed they will boycott fixtures with Russia amid the ongoing conflict.

Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, with the fighting escalating over the weekend after weeks of heightening political tensions between the two countries.

The conflict has been widely condemned, with sporting, political and financial sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus in an attempt to deter the pair from continuing with the attacks.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) urged action as they called on international sporting federations to relocate or cancel any events set to take place in Russia or Belarus.

UEFA subsequently acted by stripping St Petersburg of the 2021-22 Champions League final, while Formula One removed the Russian Grand Prix from its 2022 calendar.

A plethora of international sporting stars, including Russian tennis stars Andrey Rubley and Daniil Medvedev, have demanded peace as they condemned war.

The SFA has followed suit by offering support to Ukraine, who Scotland's men are scheduled to face in a World Cup play-off semi-final on 24 March with the women's teams set to meet on 8 April.

"The Scottish FA President, Rod Petrie, has written to his counterpart at the Ukrainian Association of Football to send a message of support, friendship, and unity," a statement from the SFA read on Monday.

"Football is inconsequential amid conflict but we have conveyed the strong sense of solidarity communicated to us by Scotland fans and citizens in recent days.

"We remain in dialogue with UEFA and FIFA regarding our men's FIFA World Cup play-off and women's World Cup qualifier and have offered to support our Ukrainian colleagues' preparations as best we can in these unimaginably difficult circumstances.

"Should the current circumstances continue, we will not sanction the nomination of a team to participate in our scheduled UEFA Regions Cup fixture against Russia, due to be played in August.

"This will remain our position should any other fixtures arise at any level of international football."

FIFA has confirmed Russia must compete in their upcoming matches as the Football Union of Russia (RFU).

The order from world football's governing body comes in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began on Thursday, with fighting having escalated over the weekend.

FIFA has been put under increasing pressure to sanction Russia, with UEFA having already stripped St Petersburg of this season's Champions League final, while the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all jointly outlined their refusal to play Russia.

This cast doubt over next month's World Cup qualifiers, with Poland set to face Russia in a play-off semi-final, with the winner of that match to play either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place in Qatar.

On Sunday, FIFA confirmed Russia would have to play under a neutral banner of the RFU, similar to how the International Olympic Committee had the country's athletes represent the Russian Olympic Committee following a state-sponsored doping scandal.

Russia's flag cannot be displayed, nor can their anthem be played, and all of their home matches must now take place at a neutral venue, behind closed doors.

A statement read: "FIFA would like to reiterate its condemnation of the use of force by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Violence is never a solution and FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to all people affected by what is happening in Ukraine.

"FIFA calls again for the urgent restoration of peace and for constructive dialogue to commence immediately. FIFA remains in close contact with the Ukrainian Association of Football and members of the Ukrainian football community who have been requesting support to leave the country for as long as the current conflict persists."

"With regard to the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers, FIFA has taken good note of the positions expressed via social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association and has already engaged in dialogue with all of these football associations. FIFA will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together."

However, FIFA's sanctions do not go far enough, according to Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza, who tweeted: "Today's FIFA decision is totally unacceptable.

"We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is."

FIFA's sanctions followed on from the English FA confirming it would boycott any upcoming matches against Russia for the foreseeable future, at any level.

England will boycott international football fixtures with Russia "for the foreseeable future" in response to the conflict in Ukraine, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.

After weeks of heightening political tensions, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, with the conflict having escalated over the weekend.

Russia's actions have been widely condemned, with political, financial and sporting sanctions imposed.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called on all international sporting federations to relocate or cancel any events set to take place in Russia or Belarus, while St Petersburg was stripped of the 2021-22 Champions League final by UEFA and Formula One removed the Russian Grand Prix from its 2022 calendar.

The FA has followed suit and will refuse to take part in any fixture with Russia for the foreseeable future as a show of solidarity for Ukraine.

"Out of solidarity with Ukraine and to wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership, the FA can confirm that we won't play against Russia in any international fixtures for the foreseeable future," a statement released by the FA read.

"This includes any potential match at any level of senior, age group or para football."

The FA's stance comes after Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all announced that they will boycott matches against Russia in the upcoming World Cup qualification play-off rounds.

A number of prominent footballing figures, including Robert Lewandowski, have spoken out in support of that decision, while Sunday's EFL Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool at Wembley was preceded by a united display of support for the Ukrainian people.

Swiss Ice Hockey, along with other members of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), has called for sanctions on Russia and Belarus due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

After weeks of rising political tensions, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, with the conflict having escalated further over the weekend.

Russia's actions have been widely condemned and sporting, as well as political and financial, punishments have been handed out as a consequence.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) called on all international sporting federations to relocate or cancel any events set to take place in Russia or Belarus.

St Petersburg was stripped of the right to host the 2021-22 Champions League final by UEFA, while Formula One removed the Russian Grand Prix from its calendar this year.

Numerous high-profile sportspeople have expressed their opposition to the conflict, with Russia's Andrey Rublev writing "no war please" on a camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championship and compatriot Daniil Medvedev calling for peace.

Vladimir Putin's status as honorary president and ambassador of the International Judo Federation (IJF) has also been suspended, and now The Swiss Ice Hockey Federation has demanded further action within their sport.

"The attack is in complete contradiction to the values of the Olympic movement, which is committed to peace, understanding and solidarity between countries and peoples," a statement from Swiss Ice Hockey read. 

"With its actions, Russia is breaking the Olympic truce, which was adopted as a resolution by the UN General Assembly on December 2, 2021 by 173 member countries.

"Swiss Ice Hockey strongly condemns Russia's actions. Swiss Ice Hockey's thoughts are with the Ukrainian ice hockey family and everyone in Ukraine in this difficult situation. 

"Together with other member associations, Swiss Ice Hockey has submitted an application to the IIHF, in which immediate and far-reaching consequences and sanctions against Russia and Belarus – which supports the Russian government in their actions – are required. 

"The application to the IIHF Council calls for, among other things, the immediate exclusion of the Russian and Belarusian ice hockey federations as members of the IIHF and the withdrawal of the U20 World Championship in December 2022 in Novosibirsk and the A World Championship in May 2023 in St. Petersburg.

"Swiss Ice Hockey has also decided that the senior men's national team will not travel to Russia and play a friendly against Russia as part of the World Cup preparations next spring – contrary to the original plan."

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) took silver in the men's ice hockey tournament at this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has called for Russia to be excluded from the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region. The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv. There was intense fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, on Sunday.

France won the last World Cup in Russia in 2018, beating Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow.

Russia had been set to host Poland in a qualifying playoff in March, but on Friday, UEFA said any international matches due to be held in Russia or Ukraine would have to be moved to a neutral venue, as well as confirming St Petersburg had been stripped of holding this season's Champions League final, which will now be played in Paris.

That followed a request from the Polish, Swedish and Czech FAs that Russia be barred from hosting any upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The winner of the tie between Poland and Russia would have been due to play either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place at Qatar 2022. The decision regarding where the qualifiers are played and whether Russia can remain a part of them ultimately rests with FIFA.

Speaking to Le Parisien on Sunday, Le Graet believes football has a duty to act, and said he "would not oppose" removing Russia from the tournament.

"This is something that I have not yet discussed with other federations," he said. "I lean for an exclusion of Russia from the next World Cup. This is my first impulse. 

"Usually, I believe that sport is there to reconcile people and ease tensions, but this is going much too far. 

"And the world of sport, and in particular football, cannot remain neutral. I will certainly not oppose an exclusion of Russia."

The Czech Republic have joined Poland and Sweden in refusing to play Russia ahead of next month's UEFA World Cup qualifying play-offs.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region. The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv. There was intense fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, on Sunday.

It was confirmed by Poland's Football Association on Saturday that they would refuse to play their scheduled 'Path B' play-off semi-final against Russia.

Russia had been set to host Poland in March, but on Friday, UEFA said any international matches due to be held in Russia or Ukraine would have to be moved to a neutral venue, as well as confirming St Petersburg had been stripped of holding this season's Champions League final, which will now be played in Paris.

That followed a request from the Polish, Swedish and Czech FAs that Russia be barred from hosting any upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The winner of the tie between Poland and Russia would have been due to play either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place at Qatar 2022.

Despite UEFA's declaration, the power to decide where the qualifiers are played and whether Russia can remain a part of them ultimately rests with world governing body FIFA.

Announcing their boycott, Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza said the three national associations were working to find a "common position" and that has now been achieved. The Swedish FA said on Saturday it was not possible to play Russia "regardless of where the match is played" and on Sunday the Czech FA took the same stance.

A statement posted on Twitter read: "The Czech FA executive committee, staff members and players of the national team agreed it's not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral venue. We all want the war to end as soon as possible."

Football's world governing body FIFA previously said in a statement that it "condemns the use of force by Russia in Ukraine and any type of violence to resolve conflicts. Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to restore peace through constructive dialogue".

It added: "FIFA also continues to express its solidarity to the people affected by this conflict.

"Regarding football matters in both Ukraine and Russia, FIFA will continue to monitor the situation and updates in relation to the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers will be communicated in due course."

Poland captain Robert Lewandowski has backed the decision of the Polish football association to refuse to play their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia next month following developments in Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region. The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv.

Russia had been set to host Poland in March, but on Friday, UEFA confirmed any international matches due to be held in Russia or Ukraine would have to be moved to a neutral venue, as well as confirming St Petersburg had been stripped of holding this season's Champions League final, which will now be played in Paris.

The winner of the tie between Poland and Russia would have been due to play either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place in Qatar, but on Thursday, the Polish, Swedish and Czech FAs requested that Russia be barred from hosting any upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

On Saturday, the president of the Polish FA, Cezary Kulesza, took to Twitter to confirm they will refuse to play March's qualifier as part of the pair's final pathway to this year's tournament.

"No more words, time to act!" Kulesza posted on Twitter. "Due to the escalation of the aggression of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine, the Polish national team does not intend to play the play-off match against Russia. This is the only right decision. We are in talks with Sweden and Czech federations to present a common position to FIFA."

Bayern Munich star Lewandowski retweeted the post, saying: "It is the right decision! I can’t imagine playing a match with the Russian National Team in a situation when armed aggression in Ukraine continues.

"Russian footballers and fans are not responsible for this, but we can’t pretend that nothing is happening."

Football's world governing body FIFA said in a statement that it: "condemns the use of force by Russia in Ukraine and any type of violence to resolve conflicts. Violence is never a solution and FIFA calls on all parties to restore peace through constructive dialogue.

"FIFA also continues to express its solidarity to the people affected by this conflict.

"Regarding football matters in both Ukraine and Russia, FIFA will continue to monitor the situation and updates in relation to the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers will be communicated in due course."

Robert Lewandowski says war is against "everything beautiful in sport" as he pleaded for solidarity with Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the country.

Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, following weeks of rising political tensions in the region. The conflict escalated further on Friday, with the fighting reaching the capital city of Kyiv.

Sportspeople, teams and organisations around the globe have joined in the condemnation of Russia's attack.

On Friday, Bayern Munich – Lewandowski's club side – lit their stadium up in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, with coach Julian Nagelsmann expressing his shock at the invasion.

"Everything beautiful in sport is against what war brings," Lewandowski posted to his official social media channels.

"For all people who value freedom and peace, this is a time of solidarity with the victims of military aggression in Ukraine."

On Thursday, the Polish football association, along with their counterparts from Sweden and the Czech Republic, requested that Russia be barred from hosting any upcoming World Cup qualifiers. The four nations are in the same play-off pathway for Qatar 2022.

Russia had been set to host Poland in March, but on Friday, UEFA confirmed any international matches due to be held in Russia or Ukraine would have to be moved to a neutral venue, as well as confirming St Petersburg had been stripped of holding this season's Champions League final.

Lewandowski, who is Poland's captain, went on to explain that he will hold discussions with his team-mates as to whether they wish to face Russia.

"As the captain of the national team, I will talk to my colleagues from the team about the match with Russia in order to work out a common position on this matter and present it to the president of the Polish Football Association as soon as possible," the statement finished.

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