"We just have to prepare for the return"

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin bluntly stated that all restrictions on the participation of Russian clubs and national teams in international competitions will be lifted after the end of the NWO.

He also spoke about the termination of the sponsorship contract with Gazprom at the end of February 2022. According to him, it was a symbolic act, and most of all shout about it are those who still buy gas from the company.

At the same time, he was outraged by the indignation of people who made claims to UEFA for the fact that the agreement was signed at all. The Slovenian called such statements pure populism and recalled that Europe itself is not a "world champion in human rights."

In Russia, Čeferin's words did not evoke much emotion. For example, Alexei Sorokin, adviser to the president of the RFU, urged to figure out whether we are talking about the point of view of the manager or the official position of the organization headed by him, and based on this, take retaliatory steps.

"I've only seen one phrase. It's hard to say, maybe it's taken out of context, maybe he said "in my opinion" or "it seems to me." It is impossible to draw conclusions on one phrase ... Since there have been some circles on the water, it makes sense to ask whether this is the official and legally consistent position of UEFA. If this is confirmed, it will be necessary to build your own strategy. At least we will get a formal answer. In the meantime, it is not, but there are consultations, dialogues, "R-Sport quotes the ex-general director of the organizing committee of the 2018 World Cup.

The words of the Slovenian did not come as a surprise to the honorary president of the RFU Vyacheslav Koloskov. He recalled: from the very beginning, the NWO repeated that the sanctions would not be lifted until it ended. The main reason for this, according to the functionary, is the inability to ensure the safety of domestic teams in other countries and foreign ones in Russia.

"There is nothing new for me. This is logical and correct. We will be returned as soon as the NWO ends, and then, I think, not immediately. All the same, then it will take some more time to adapt. But the key issue is the completion of the NWO. All this confirms the correctness of the choice of the RFU to stay in Europe," Koloskov told Metaratings.ru.

The State Duma also reacted to Čeferin's statement. Dmitry Svishchev, Chairman of the Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, believes that UEFA is determined to return Russia in any case, since it is a huge market.

"It was hardly worth expecting otherwise. We just have to get ready to come back. Do not forget, Russia is a voluminous market, including for UEFA. We are developing in all sports, interesting performers play in our national championship. We have opportunities to sell products and, in particular, we are open to sponsorship, they are well aware of Gazprom," the deputy emphasized.

Imposition of FIFA sanctions and creation of a working group with UEFA

Recall that FIFA and UEFA imposed sanctions on the country at the end of February 2022, a few days after the start of the NWO. According to previously published IOC recommendations, domestic clubs and national teams have been suspended from international tournaments until further notice. Thus, Spartak lost the opportunity to play in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League, and the main national team in the play-offs for the right to take part in the 2022 World Cup.

In response, the RFU filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) demanding the suspension of restrictions for the duration of the proceedings, but was refused by both FIFA and UEFA.

Realizing that in the near future indulgences should not be expected, Russia began to look for other options. Last fall, the topic of the possible transition of the RFU to the Asian Confederation (AFC) was actively discussed, most of whose members would not object to meetings with representatives of the country. At the end of December, the executive committee even supported this idea.

"We must call a spade a spade: now our return to European tournaments is a big question. We don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. A change of confederation and a transition to Asia is a more realistic option. We are at odds with Europe ideologically. There, politics comes first, and football comes second. We saw it in Qatar. Today they ask some questions, tomorrow they ask others. The day after tomorrow they will say, conditionally, that we do not support LGBT people enough, and this will serve as a reason not to play with us, "said the president of the federation, Alexander Dyukov.

However, just a few days later, at the final meeting of the organization's executive committee, a diametrically opposite verdict was adopted - on the creation of a working group with the participation of representatives of UEFA, IOC and FIFA. In January, its first meeting was held.

At the same time, Čeferin did not hide the fact that the return of domestic teams and national teams is impossible until the completion of the NWO. For example, he made such a statement in April immediately after his re-election as head of UEFA. At the same time, the head admitted that his heart breaks because of the athletes who are not to blame for anything, but are forced to suffer. At the same time, back in March last year, he called the imposed sanctions necessary.

"We can trust Čeferin's words"

According to RT experts, there is nothing surprising in the words of the Slovenian. For example, the honored coach of the Russian Federation Gadzhi Hajiyev suggested that Čeferin has always been loyal to Russia, but in this situation he cannot do anything.

"In my opinion, this is an absolutely logical position. But it should be noted that even his words will now be mixed with politics. Let's say we are allowed in today. Everyone understands that there will be those countries that do not want their teams and clubs to play with ours. This is a matter of global political confrontation in the world. It remains only to wait for the completion of the NWO. We can trust his words, but another question is whether everything now depends only on him," Hajiyev said.

In turn, the former coach of the Russian national team and CSKA Valery Gazzaev recalled that the country was not excluded from European competitions, but only temporarily suspended, and restrictions can be lifted at any time.

"Domestic clubs, as well as the national team, have always occupied a leading position. And the national championship was in fifth or sixth places in the ranking of national European championships. There was a time when the USSR national team was among the leaders of the rating. There were successes at the World Championships, European Championships, and the Olympic Games. In recent history, everyone remembers the victories of CSKA and Zenit in the UEFA Cup. And also it is impossible not to recall the bronze medals of the national team at Euro 2008. It is simply impossible to do without Russia's participation in world football life. True sports results are born only in competition with others," the specialist emphasized.