Soccer: Russia may leave UEFA, seek to join Asian confederation

The Russian Football Union may cut ties with the sport's European governing body UEFA and seek membership with Asia's confederation, ESPN reported Thursday, citing sources involved.

The RFU discussed making the switch on Dec. 23 and could reach a final decision at an executive meeting to be held Friday, according to the report.

Russian national teams and clubs are currently banned from competition by both UEFA and international governing body FIFA over the country's invasion of Ukraine.

With relations between Russia and European countries severely strained, RFU officials believe the Asian Football Confederation, which includes Japan, may provide a friendlier playing environment once the FIFA ban is lifted.

Nearly three quarters of Russia's massive landmass lies within Asia.

The AFC has previously given membership to a country leaving another confederation, accepting Australia in 2006 following its departure from Oceania.

© Kyodo News