The invasion of Ukraine by Russia had a global impact, not just politically but also sportingly. Changes in local and continental competitions – including the World Cup – and players departing the area are just a few instances of the influence on football.
In this article, we’ll show you the most significant changes brought on by the conflict in Eastern Europe, as well as the aspirations for the future of international football.
Brazilian players playing in Ukraine
Due to the conflict, some Brazilian players with existing contracts with Ukrainian teams have departed the country, and their futures are now uncertain. In the following weeks, several of them may even accept to work with a Brazilian team.
In all, 30 Brazilian athletes were working in Ukraine. Shakhtar Donetsk had the most Brazilians in their lineup, with 11 players, including ex-Flamengo midfielder Alan Patrick.
On February 24, the athletes requested assistance on social media in order to leave Ukraine. After the Brazilian government said that it would be unable to pick up the athletes, the great majority were able to flee by train from Chernivtsi to Romania. Other players, for example, have crossed the Polish border in the past.
Champions League Final
The European Champions League final, Europe’s most prestigious club championship, was scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, on May 28.
The tournament’s organizer, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), announced (on 25/2) that the grand final would be relocated due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The match will now take place in the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris.
World Cup Playoffs
The World Cup will be held in Qatar between November 21 and December 18, and will be the only major sporting event of the year. However, several qualifications are still ongoing and in the final rounds. In the case of the European competition, this is the situation.
The European qualifications are nearing the end, with the so-called playoffs underway, in which 12 teams compete in knockout games for the last three berths in the Cup. Poland, on the other hand, expressed discontent and apprehension about having to deal with the Russians amid this international crisis. As a result, the International Football Federation (FIFA) decided to withdraw Russia from the qualifications, therefore ruling it out of contention for the World Cup.
European club competitions
All Russian teams were barred from UEFA events, including the Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League, on March 1. This is because, as a consequence of the invasion, Ukrainian clubs will no longer be able to compete in these tournaments.
Spartak Moscow, who were still in the Europa League at the time, was the club affected this season. They would face RB Leipzig of Germany in the competition’s round of 16. With UEFA’s involvement, no Russian team will be able to qualify for next season’s European tournaments, at least for the time being.
Ukrainian Premier League stoppage
The Ukrainian Premier League has been halted for at least a month, although no date has been set for its resumption.
“The Ukrainian Premier League is halted due to the introduction of martial rule in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Premier League (UPL) declared on February 25.
Shakhtar Donetsk led the competition after the 18th of 30 rounds with 47 points, followed by Dynamo Kiev with 45 points.
About the conflict
The fundamental reason for the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, according to the Russians, was their fear of Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an intergovernmental military alliance that includes the United States.
After months of negotiations, Russia stated on February 24 that it would invade the neighboring nation via border areas wanting to secede from the country.