However, a team of Russians could still play at the tournament in Qatar if they qualify.
What are the terms of the ban?
Russia, who hosted the 2018 World Cup, have been banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
Under the terms of the ban, barring an appeal, the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at any major events in the four-year period.
But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
So can they compete as a neutral team in Qatar?
Yes, as it stands.
“If they qualify, a team representing Russia cannot participate,” said Jonathan Taylor, chair of Wada’s compliance review committee.
“But if there is a mechanism put in place, then they can apply to participate on a neutral basis, not as representatives of Russia.
“It will be for Fifa to implement, but they will have to do so in conjunction with Wada. But there will be no flag or anthem.”
A Fifa spokesperson said football’s world governing body was in contact with Wada to “clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football”.
How About Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
As it stands now, Sports Intelligence Magazine can authoritatively confirm that athletes from Russia who wish to be at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics can do so.
This has happened before – a team of Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
Hence, Russian athletes who wish to be part of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo must be willing to take part as neutral athletes without singing the Russian anthem or identifying with the flag.
This gives the athletes an opportunity to win medals for themselves and not for the nation.