The global body and UEFA issued a wave of sanctions against Russian football in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict Dejan Lovren of Zenit St. Petersburg poses with the trophy after the OLIMPBET Russian Supercup match between Zenit St. Petersburg and Spartak Moscow on July 9, 2022 at Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia © Getty Images / Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images
World football’s governing body, FIFA, is withholding compensatory payments for Russian teams related to last year’s World Cup in Qatar due to sanctions levied against the Russian Football Union (RFU), its Secretary General Maxim Mitrofanov said Sunday.
Russian national teams and clubs have been suspended from most major football competitions operated by FIFA, as well as the European governing body UEFA, as part of sanctions issued against Moscow following the start of its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.
UEFA last month signaled a possible cooling of its punishments by opening the door to the possibility of Russian under-17 teams returning to the fold – before swiftly slamming it shut days later, due to outrage within its executive committee. According to the top RFU official, the sanctions are continuing to affect Russian Premier League sides which would otherwise be eligible to receive compensation for their players’ participation in last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
“For now, money for the participation of players in the 2022 World Cup is blocked,” Mitrofanov told TASS news agency. “FIFA is not sending this money due to the fact that our clubs are under sanctions.”
UEFA backtracks on readmitting Russian soccer teams
In July, FIFA said it would pay out a total of $209 million to clubs whose players participated in the Qatar tournament last year – a rare World Cup which began in November rather than the summer months, so as to avoid the sweltering Doha heat. The payments, FIFA said, will be issued to 440 clubs from 51 different countries.
This includes daily totals of $10,950 for each of the 837 players in the tournament, regardless of how much time they spent on the field. In 2018, FIFA paid $8,530 per player in the World Cup in Russia.
FIFA also said compensation would be paid to all clubs who had a World Cup player registered for two years prior to the start of the tournament – before sanctions were introduced against Russian football. But according to Mitrofanov, these payments have been withheld by FIFA.
Various footballers at the tournament had represented Russian clubs before and during the world Cup in Qatar, including Uruguayan defender Gullermo Varela and Polish midfielder Sebastian Szymanski, both of whom played for Dynamo Moscow. Dejan Lovren, a defender for bronze medal-winning Croatia, played for Zenit Saint Petersburg up until January of this year.
English champions Manchester City are set to receive a $4,596,445 payment from FIFA, the most of any club, and marginally ahead of both Barcelona ($4,538,955) and Bayern Munich ($4,331,809). (RT)