The Russian Football Association on Wednesday voted against leaving UEFA to join the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), despite having been banned from the European body over the conflict in Ukraine.
“We decided that we will not move to Asia. Everyone supported the decision unanimously,” Vice-President of the Russian Football Union Akhmed Aydamirov said according to state-run news agency TASS.
“We will fight for Europe. Russia is Europe. We will win,” he added.
As part of the ban introduced four days after President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia was barred from taking part in Euro 2024 qualifiers.
The decision to leave UEFA and join the AFC would have consequences — primarily financial ones — for Russian clubs, especially those previously involved in European competitions, like the Champions League.
Russian officials also said that football’s international governing body FIFA could refuse efforts by Moscow to join the AFC.
“We unanimously voted against since there are no guarantees from FIFA,” Mikhail Gershkovich, a member of the Russian Football Union, told state-run news agency RIA Novosti.
Gershkovich was cited as saying that Moscow would continue contacts with UEFA.
“Let’s see how the situation develops next year,” he said.
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