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Russia Considers Asian Competitions After UEFA Ban

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UEFA’s very next competitions may be a little different than they used to. This is because they banned Russian soccer teams from competing in their matches. So, finding for Russia for UEFA will not be possible soon. 

As a result, speculations started to appear regarding Russia potentially joining the Asian Football Confederation. But not everyone knows whether this will truly happen or if it will be the best idea. Will we see this massive change?

Speculations About Joining the AFC

Everyone is aware of the situation between Russia and Ukraine at the moment. Russia invaded Ukraine back in February, and ever since, a lot of sanctions have been imposed on them, including economic ones and not only. 

The football industry was eventually affected by this matter and faced with the responsibility of making decisions too. So, UEFA banned Russia from participating in all their competitions for next season, including Europa League and Champions League.

This led people to speculate that now that this happened, Russia may end up joining the Asian Football Confederation instead. 

As quoted by the state-owned sports broadcaster Match TV, Dmitry Pirog, a parliament member said, “I think the time has come to think seriously about a switch to the Asian football confederation.”

According to Dmitry Pirog, who was a professional boxer in the past, this may happen as nobody knows when the UEFA ban on Russia will end. He also said that Asia has many great European coaches and that it was developing a lot. 

But Vyacheslav Koloskov, former RFU president, is not excited about this potential change. He thinks that going to Asia would be the “death of Russian football and also we would never return to the European family.”

Why This Change Would Not Make Sense

There are various reasons why a change to the Asian Football Confederation will not make sense for Russia. 

A few issues already exist in the Asian football scene. For instance, many top nations from Asia have been accused of devaluing the competition as they sent some of the weakest teams to the events. On top of that, during the pandemic, China and Australia have been sending youth sides or some sides were pulling out of the tournament. 

While adding some teams from Russia may help somehow, it will not solve all the problems of the competition.

Asia is very large, and because of this, the Asian Champions League already has to be split into western and eastern zones, after which the best teams from both zones will compete in the final. Including Russia, which is the largest country in the world, would make matters worse. 

It’s hard to predict whether Russia would join the AFC or not, as it all depends on how the war situation evolves. Only time will tell.

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