— Published 22 March 2023

Russia focuses on Europe

Tempted for a while by an exile in Asia, Russian football seems determined to stay in Europe. According to Denis Rogachyov, deputy general secretary of the Russian Football Union (RFU), the priority is to keep the clubs and national teams within the UEFA fold. The leader explained this on Tuesday 21 March at a session of the Duma, the lower house of parliament. “We have established a Work Group that is engaged in the negotiating process with UEFA and FIFA on Russia’s step-by-step return,” he recalled, quoted by the agency TASS. Africa recently hosted a FIFA Congress and soon there will be an election for the UEFA president in Lisbon, which we will attend. The process of reinstating our rights to remain part of European football is a priority, but all scenarios are currently on the table. We have preserved our corporate rights to be a part of UEFA and FIFA, yet we are holding talks with our colleagues regarding our stage-by-stage return.” Europe, then, but not without a foray into Asia. The press service of the Tajikistan Football Federation (TFF) announced in mid-March that the Russian national football team would be allowed to participate in the Central Asian Football Federation (CAFA) championship next June. An information confirmed the same day by the RFU. Created in 2014, CAFA is one of the five regional components of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).