Russian football is breaking ties with Europe and integrating with Asia | Popgen Tech
A final decision has yet to be made, but it is clear that Russian football wants to cut ties with Europe as sanctions take their toll on the teams’ ability to compete.
According to news website Kommersant, on Saturday, December 24, a meeting of the executive committee of the Russian Football Union (RFU) was held in Moscow during which the possibility of moving to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was discussed.
It is understood that no final decision has been made to sever ties with UEFA, but that a decision will be made before the end of the year which is expected to confirm the break.
The possibility of a break has been under discussion for several months following the imposition of European sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
RFU President Alexander Dyukov said that the Asian federation was more friendly towards Russia and although it was not as rich or as competitive, it was a logical choice given sanctions.
Dyukov and his fellow council members seem to understand that there is little room for maneuver in Europe and that it really has few options. But he said it was still necessary to look for another solution because “this issue will have an impact on how Russian football will develop in the future, at least in the next ten years.”
To withdraw from UEFA, Russia would have to give at least six months’ notice, meaning that if it wanted to leave, it would have to submit its resignation by December 31. If they don’t, they will miss both the 2024 European Championships and the next World Championships, scheduled for 2026.
Currently, Russia would not be able to compete in the latter, given sanctions, but the hope is that the world will return to some normality by then.
FIFA is also said to need time to assess any application from Russia to relocate, as is EUFA with the decision requiring the approval of more than half of the organisation’s 47 members.
According to Dyukov, there is no guarantee that an application will be accepted, but he said the probability is high. He also said that almost all clubs were in favor of the move, although the leagues and tournaments were less profitable.
But as he said everyone wants to play and that need may be more important than all the other considerations.
A final decision on whether Russian football will cut ties with Europe and integrate with Asia will be announced on Tuesday 27 December.
The final decision of the RFU on the transition to the AFC will be announced on Tuesday 27 December.
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