IOC urge FIFA, UEFA to ban Russia from all football following Ukraine invasion

FIFA and UEFA have been urged by the International Olympic Committee to ban Russia from all competitive football in response to the military invasion of Ukraine and ongoing war -- a move that would lead to the Russians being expelled from the 2022 World Cup and this summer's Women's European Championship.

Sources have told ESPN that high-level discussions are taking place within FIFA and UEFA -- the governing bodies of world and European football respectively -- which are likely to result in Russia being suspended from competitions.

And following a meeting of the IOC's executive board on Monday, a statement was issued condemning the governments of Russia and Belarus for breaching the Olympic Truce and, "to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants.

"The IOC's executive board 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.

FIFA issued a statement on Sunday which stopped short of expelling Russia from the World Cup, despite the Polish, Swedish and Czech Republic football associations saying that they would not play against the Russians in the World Cup playoffs scheduled for March 24 and 29.

U.S. Soccer also issued the following statement of support for Ukraine on Monday.

"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. We will neither tarnish our global game, nor dishonor Ukraine, by taking the same field as Russia, no matter the level of competition or circumstance, until freedom and peace have been restored. #WeStandWithUkraine."

Poland have been drawn to play Russia in the Path B semifinal before the winners face Sweden or the Czechs -- a game which was scheduled to be staged in Russia or Poland.

Although reserving the right to take further action, FIFA restricted their sanction to forcing Russia to play "home" games at a neutral venue and banning the country's anthem and flag. The team were also told they could not play as Russia, but instead as the Football Union of Russia.

A number of European football associations, including the English FA, have subsequently issued statements insisting they will not play against Russia in the foreseeable future.

However, the Russia women's team remains on course to play in the Euros in July, having qualified with a playoff victory against Portugal in 2021. UEFA has yet to decide on their participation in the tournament.

Sources have told ESPN that that issue, along with Spartak Moscow's ongoing involvement in the Europa League -- Spartak are due to face RB Leipzig in the round of 16 -- is likely to be resolved this week with Russian teams being kicked out of all UEFA competitions.

UEFA has previously expelled a nation from competing in its tournaments, having removed Yugoslavia from the Euro 92 tournament in Sweden, 10 days before the competition began, due to their involvement in the Balkan conflict.