Reports on Saturday stated that the UK government was going to make further moves on the world governing body, through the Football Association, and The Independent has been told it is a feeling increasingly shared by other European governments and key figures within football federations.
The idea is to make Russia such an international pariah, to the point the war is an unsustainable domestic policy, and both government and football officials have privately expressed amazement that Fifa have not yet acted.
A number of national football officials are considering whether to escalate this into moves to have Russia disqualified from this year’s global football showpiece.
The ball was set rolling on Saturday morning, when the Polish Football Association created a huge headache for Fifa by announcing they have no intention of playing their World Cup play-off semi-final against Russia. They are also holding talks with the two federations on the other side of that draw, Sweden and the Czech Republic, on a shared stance.
Many within the game are now considering whether this should be escalated into banishing Russia from the 2022 World Cup completely.
“No more words, time to act!” Poland’s FA president Cezary Kulesza wrote on Twitter. “Due to the escalation of the aggression of the Russian Federation towards Ukraine the Polish national team does not intend to play the play-off match against Russia. This is the only right decision. We are in talks with Swedish and Czech association to bring forward a joint statement to Fifa.”
The stance was immediately backed by Polish president Andrzej Duda, who said “You don’t play with bandits!” and prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who was even stronger: “You cannot play a match against Russia under such circumstances … Thank you so much for this decision.”