Sport

Soccer-CAS upholds UEFA 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 UEFA logo and the colors of the Russian flag in this February 28, 2022 illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 15, 2022

(Reuters) – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld UEFA’s ban on Russian teams participating in its competitions while the CAS deliberates the case, it said on Tuesday.

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 Football Union of Russia (RFU) appealed to CAS, but the President of the Appeals Department rejected a request to have the ban lifted pending CAS’ final decision.

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

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

The ruling only applies to UEFA competitions, with Russia still trying to lift a FIFA ban that would allow them to take part in the World Cup qualifying playoff games scheduled for later this month.

“The CAS decisions on the … requests to stay the enforcement of the FIFA decisions for the duration of the CAS proceedings are expected to be issued later this week,” he added.

Russia were due to host Poland in a World Cup qualifying playoff on March 24. If Russia remain suspended at this point, they would be out of the World Cup and unable to reach the finals in Qatar in 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.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans and Edmund Blair)

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