Nigerian players have performed admirably for their teams this season, but some will not be rewarded with victory.
UEFA, the governing body of European football, has prolonged Russia's exclusion from continental events until next season as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union to punish Russia for its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
Early this year, the Russian army commanded by Putin invaded Ukraine, sparking a major conflict between the two countries. Russia has been the catalyst, destabilizing Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Mariupol.
In Ukraine, the war has resulted in the indefinite suspension of activities, including football. While league competition continues in Russia, no football has been played since December of last year.
UEFA took action against Russia earlier this season, disqualifying Moses' Spartak Moscow from the Europa League round of 16 this season. FIFA also barred the national squad from competing in any of its qualifying.
However, ahead of next season, the European football regulatory body has imposed new penalties on Russian teams. Next season, no Russian club will be eligible to compete in any continental competition.
The news is extremely concerning for Nigerian players in the league, particularly Victor Moses and Chidera Ejuke.
Spartak Moscow is now in the Russian Cup semifinals, and Victor Moses' team would have qualified for the Europa League qualifications if they had won.
Ejuke, who has had a fantastic season with CSKA Moscow, would also be dissatisfied, since his team is now in fourth place and on the verge of qualifying for the Europa Conference League.
Unfortunately, due to the latest UEFA regulation, they will have to say goodbye to their ambitions to play on the continent next season.
They might, however, quit their clubs, as both players' contracts are up in two years and they could force their employers to sell them this summer.
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