Russian referees unpaid by UEFA since February
OREANDA-NEWS UEFA has not paid Russian referee Sergey Ivanov and his team for work they completed in a Europa Conference League match in February, according to the FIFA-registered official.
Ivanov made the claim to Match TV on Monday, in relation to a match he officiated on February 24 when Norwegian team Bodo-Glimt defeated Scottish rivals Celtic in a playoff tie.
Ivanov refereed the game, while compatriots Roman Usachev and Dmitry Safyan served as assistant referees and Vladimir Moskalev was the fourth official.
“The guys and I worked in Norway at the playoffs of the Conference League. We managed to return, the planes were still flying, but we still have not been paid a salary for that game. Not because they don't want to [pay us], but simply because they can't,” Ivanov said.
Asked if UEFA had explained to Russian referees that they would not be allowed to work in European competitions, considering that Russian teams and clubs are banned as a consequence of the military operation in Ukraine, Ivanov answered: “Officially, no.”
“When the special operation began, (head of the UEFA refereeing committee) Roberto Rosetti called us with general phrases,” Ivanov added.
“And so they didn’t remove us from anywhere. It’s just written that we were suspended from appointments, because there is no way to make these appointments.”
When pushed to reveal whether he was afraid of possible provocations and fears for the safety of Russian referees, Ivanov suggested that it might not be a good idea for them to start working on matches in Europe, given the current political climate.
“How can they assign us to a game if they can neither pay salaries nor book plane tickets?” Ivanov said.
“When the situation stabilizes, then we will think about it, [but] now the question of European competitions is irrelevant. Although UEFA hasn't cut off contact with us – it sends materials, we participate in online seminars,” he added.
Ivanov's comments come after Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin revealed that the country is still awaiting compensation payments for a number of major sporting events it was stripped of following an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation made at the end of February.
These include the UEFA 2022 Champions League final, which was moved from St. Petersburg to Paris, the 2022 Men's World Volleyball Championship, and the junior and men's Ice Hockey World Championships next year.
Amid other sanctions in the world of sport, Formula 1 also terminated its deal to hold annual Grand Prix races in Russia.
According to Matytsin, compensation claims still haven't been resolved as the year heads into its final quarter.
“No [we have not received all the money], we are in the process,” the minister explained to RIA Novosti from the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok earlier this month.
“Our national federations, those who filed claims, some of them are in the negotiation process with international federations, so we hope for a successful solution,” he added.