Sport

Soccer-CAS confirms FIFA ban on Russian teams as court deliberates

FILE PHOTO: Image shows letters arranged for reading
FILE PHOTO: Plastic letters reading ‘Sanctions’ are placed in front of the FIFA logo and the colors of the Russian flag in this February 28, 2022 illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 18, 2022

(Reuters) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected a request by the Russian Football Union (RFU) to freeze FIFA’s decision to suspend all Russian teams and clubs from their competitions while the CAS deliberates on the case.

Friday’s decision effectively prevents Russia from participating in the World Cup qualifying playoffs scheduled for later this month, as a CAS hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The football associations FIFA and UEFA had jointly decided that all Russian teams, whether national or club teams, would be banned from participating in FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice after Moscow invaded Ukraine.

“The contested decision remains in effect and all Russian teams and clubs remain banned from participating in FIFA competitions,” CAS said in a statement.

“The CAS arbitration proceeds. An arbitral tribunal is currently being constituted and the parties are exchanging written submissions.”

Russia were due to host Poland in a World Cup qualifying playoff on March 24.

Reuters has reached out to FIFA for comment. The World Cup will take place in Qatar from November.

The Polish FA had said they would refuse to play the Russian team and the Czech Republic and Sweden, who are on the same playoff path, had also ruled out playing Russia.

Earlier this week, CAS also confirmed UEFA’s ban on Russian teams participating in its competitions for the duration of its proceedings.

The decision meant Spartak Moscow could not play their Europa League game against RB Leipzig, allowing the German club to advance to the quarter-finals.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Toby Davis)

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