Moscow, Dec 27 (EFE).- The Russian Football Union decided on Tuesday to postpone a vote on leaving Uefa in a bid to join the Asian Football Confederation as a response to the European association’s suspension of all Russian teams over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russian news agency TASS quoted RFU president Alexander Dyukov as saying the delay was due “to the need for additional consultations related to Russia’s potential move to the AFC.”
Dyukov announced that the voting is now scheduled on December 31.
RFU’s executive committee was set to make a final decision on Tuesday because according to Dyukov, it was the only way to participate in the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
Vyacheslav Koloskov, honorary president of the federation, said that the postponement is related to the need to further study the entry into the AFC.
Dyukov has recognized that “no one has ever left Uefa” and there is therefore no precedent or jurisprudence for cases like this one.
He has insisted Fifa was not opposed to Russia’s participation in the World Cup as an Asian team and that there was still time to join the qualifiers.
The Kremlin backs the proposed Uefa breakaway as the country’s foreign policy and economy have been shifting towards that continent over growing tensions with the US and European Union since the invasion of Ukraine.
Almost all Russian clubs and some national football legends have also supported a withdrawal from Uefa.
However, some journalists from the national sports press have expressed concerns over Russia leaving Uefa, since it would close the doors to European football for a long time, as well as prompt a likely loss in revenue, television audiences, and fan interest.
Spartak Moscow legend, Oleg Romantsev, has been one of the few to speak against the move saying that “the level of those playing in the Asian confederation does not mean development and progress.” EFE