Russia received an invitation to participate in the Central Asian Football Competition
Russia has been invited to participate in the inaugural season of the Central Asian Football Confederation Championship, along with seven other national teams, in June. The Russian team was banned by the European Football Union (Uefa) and FIFA after the invasion of Ukraine in February last year. However, the Tajikistan Football Federation said on Monday that the new regional tournament could feature teams from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, which were formerly part of the Soviet Union, apart from Russia.
This would include Afghanistan, Iran and one other country (yet to be confirmed). The tournament will be held in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan). According to the Tajikistan Football Federation, Russia has already accepted the invitation. But Russia’s football federation told state media: “We are discussing the possibility and conditions of the participation of our national team in this tournament.”
If Russia participates in this tournament, then the debate about its joining the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will start again. The country wants to return to international football competition. Russia threatened last year that it would leave UEFA and join the AFC, but in January this year Alexander Dyukov, the president of the country’s football association, backed down.