The Nigerian stars have been brilliant for their sides this season, but they will not be rewarded with success
European football governing body UEFA has extended Russia’s ban from continental competitions to next season as part of measures to punish Russia for the ongoing war between them and Ukraine.
The Putin-led Russian army invaded Ukraine early this year which set off a severe conflict between the two nations. Russia has been the instigator, wreaking havoc in Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Mariupol.
The war has caused the indefinite suspension of activities in Ukraine, and even football has been affected. While league action is going on steadily in Russia, there has been no football action since December last year.
UEFA took steps to punish Russia earlier on, disqualifying Moses’ Spartak Moscow from this season’s Europa League in the round of 16. Also, FIFA banned the national team from participating in their qualifiers.
However, the European football governing body has placed new sanctions on Russian teams ahead of next season. No Russian club would be eligible in any continental competition next season.
The news has grave implications for Nigerian players playing their trades in the league, especially Victor Moses and Chidera Ejuke.
Victor Moses with his Spartak Moscow side are currently in the semifinals of the Russian Cup, and a triumph for them would have seen them get a spot in the Europa League qualifiers.
Also, Ejuke, who has had an excellent season at CSKA Moscow, would be disappointed, as his side sits fourth and are on the brink of Europa Conference League qualification.
Unfortunately, with the new ruling by UEFA, they would have to bid byes their dreams of playing on the continent next season.
However, they could leave their clubs, as both players have just two years left on their deal, and they could strong-arm their employers into selling them.