Qatar 2022: Why is Russia not playing in the FIFA World Cup?

Russia had qualified for the World Cup playoffs and was all set to play Poland on March 24, when Russian forces began their attack on Ukraine on February 24.

Members of the Russian team react as their Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev makes a save that defeats Spain in a penalty shoot out during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 World Cup

Members of the Russian team react as their Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev makes a save that defeats Spain in a penalty shoot out during the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 World Cup | Photo Credit: Manu Fernandez

Russia had qualified for the World Cup playoffs and was all set to play Poland on March 24, when Russian forces began their attack on Ukraine on February 24.

Russia, which hosted the last edition of the World Cup, will not be making an appearance in Qatar after it was banned by FIFA in February following its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia had qualified for the World Cup playoffs after finishing second in Group H in the UEFA qualifiers. It was all set to play Poland in the playoff on March 24, when Russian forces began their attack on Ukraine on February 24.

This pushed the three sides in Russia’s playoff pool -- Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden -- to threaten boycott.

On February 28, FIFA and UEFA, under recommendations from IOC, suspended Russia and Russian clubs from participating in the their competitions including the 2022 World Cup.

Russia soon appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but it was turned down on March 18. As a result, Poland got a walkover and then beat Sweden to secure its place in Qatar 2022.

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