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FIFA Ruling On Russian Flag Changes Nothing As World Cup Rivals Still Refuse To Play

UPDATE: FIFA And UEFA Ban Russia And All Russian Clubs From World Soccer

FIFA will not allow Russia to play at home or under their national flag in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Soccer's world governing body has also declared that the national team must be referred to as the "Football Union of Russia" instead of "Russia", while the Russian national anthem cannot be played at matches.

This was FIFA's response to Russian president Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, which began on Thursday.

It came nearly 72 hours after European soccer's governing body had declared that teams from Russia and Ukraine must until further notice play their home games in UEFA competitions at neutral venues. The only club this ruling will affect this season is Spartak Moscow, who remain in the Europa League.

But FIFA's ruling is much more significant because Russia and Ukraine are both scheduled to play in World Cup qualifying semi-finals and possibly finals in March.

Russia, now the Football Union of Russia, are due to play Poland on March 24 with the winner then facing Sweden or the Czech Republic for a place at Qatar 2022.

FIFA's logo and the Russian flag are seen displayed on a phone screen

FIFA said on Sunday that Russia must compete under the name "Football Union of Russia"

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Meanwhile, Ukraine are due to play Scotland in Glasgow for the chance to meet Wales or Austria in their playoff final.

But Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all said they would refuse to play Russia prior to FIFA's statement on Sunday. England and Wales also said they would boycott any games against Russia if they were paired with them at the World Cup.

After processing FIFA's response, the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic reiterated that they will refuse to play Russia, regardless of their name change and the absence of their flag and anthem.

President of the Polish Football Association Cezary Kulesza tweeted on Sunday: "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."

As well as Sweden and the Czech Republic joining Poland in their stance, Kulesza named England, Albania, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales as other countries who have vowed to reject any fixtures against the the Football Union of Russia.

This collective stance could pressurize FIFA into increasing the severity of their sanctions against Russia.

Indeed, Reuters Sports News and Football Correspondent Simon Evans tweeted on Monday that FIFA were "set to suspend Russian teams from international football until further notice."

The announcement was reportedly due later on Monday, with Evans adding that "Russia would be out of the World Cup unless radical change in Ukraine situation". before March 24.