Russia Plan To Leave UEFA Permanently And Join The Asian Confederation.

  • The Russian Football Federation (RFS) is reportedly considering leaving European football permanently, and join the Asian Confederation.
  • This comes few weeks after sanctions were imposed on Russian clubs and the national team.

Russia ‘s clubs and their national teams were banned from taking part in footballing competition by FIFA and UEFA until further notice following their country’s attacks on Ukraine ordered back in February by president Vladimir Putin.

The two football governing bodies’ decision saw Russia lose their place in the World Cup qualification process, going back on their initial stance that Valeri Karpin’s side would be allowed to compete in this month’s World Cup play-offs on certain terms, but Poland automatically moved through to the final to face Sweden after Russia were eliminated from qualifying due to the ban by Europe's governing body, UEFA.

"Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice," read UEFA's joint statement with FIFA back in February.

The country's domestic teams like Spartak Moscow were also booted from the Champions League, Europa League and other European tournaments by UEFA.

According to Russian sports journalist Nobel Arustamyan, who reports that the RFS is seriously considering the switch to 

Now, the country's football union is considering moving its teams to Asia to "soften the situation around Russian football.", reports journalist Nobel Arustamyan.

Arustamyan, a widely-respected reporter, says the move could come after Russia's initial ban from Europe ends.

Writing on his Telegram channel, Arustamyan, said that FIFA is likely to hand the RFS either a two-year or an indefinite suspension. 

"It is unlikely that European teams and clubs will want to play with Russia in the coming years, and there is certainly not such pressure in Asia," he wrote.

Russia's switching allegiances from UEFA to AFC may not be a monumental task as their territory spans in both Europe and Asia.

Russian website Championat asked the opinion of high-profile personalities on whether Russia should just leave UEFA and join the AFC.

Former Russia internationals Andrey Kanchelskis and Yuri Gavrilov are among those to back the idea of Russia's soccer teams switching from UEFA to the AFC.

"The Asian Football Confederation? I don't even know if this can happen," former Manchester United winger who won two Premier League titles Andrei Kanchelskis told Championat.

"While this is all at the level of conversations, I don't think UEFA will hand Russia such a serious suspension. Although we all think, or hope, that everything turns out differently.

"Both the Russian national team and our clubs need to move on, and play, no matter how the situation develops.

"If the Asian football confederation is a real option for Russia, then why not?

"I worked in Asia and played in Saudi Arabia. It would be interesting for me to watch such matches."

Yuri Gavrilov also told Championat: "If there is nowhere else, let them play in the Asian Champions League. What's the difference? Will this affect our level? Russian football is already weak. What level can it hit? No team plays in either the Champions League or the Europa League.

"I don't follow Asian teams, so I don't know what level they are now. But time will tell how our clubs will be able to prove themselves against rivals from China and other countries."

Should this switch comes to fruition, Russian clubs will now play in the Asian Champions League rather than the UEFA Champions League and the AFC Cup rather than the Europa League.

Meanwhile, the national team would compete in the Asian qualification tournament for the World Cup, and compete in the Asian Cup instead of the Euros in the event the Asian federations agree for Russia to be part of the AFC.

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