The president of the French Football Federation Noël Le Graët has suggested that Russia should be thrown out of the men’s World Cup, following the invasion of Ukraine.

“That is my first impulse,” Le Graët said on Sunday when asked if Russia should be banned from the tournament.

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“The world of sports, and football, in particular, cannot remain neutral. I will certainly not object to Russia’s exclusion.”

Le Graët becomes the first major football official to make such a suggestion since the invasion last Thursday.

World football body FIFA must make the decision and Le Graët, 80, is on the governing FIFA Council.

Russia hosted the last men’s FIFA World Cup in 2018.

Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic have all refused to play Russia next month in the play-offs for the tournament in Qatar in November and December.

(dpa/NAN)

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