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CAS upholds UEFA ban on Russian teams

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

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA had decided together that all Russian teams, whether national or club sides, be suspended from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) appealed to CAS but the president of the Appeals Arbitration Division denied a request to lift the ban until CAS takes a final decision.

“The challenged decision remains in force and all Russian teams and clubs continue to be suspended from participation in UEFA competitions,” the CAS said in a statement.

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

The ruling only applies to UEFA competitions, with Russia still looking to overturn a FIFA ban that would allow them to take part in World Cup qualifying playoff matches scheduled for the end of this month.

“The CAS decisions on the … requests to stay the execution of the FIFA decisions for the duration of the CAS proceedings are likely to be issued at the end of this week,” it added.

Russia were scheduled to host Poland in a World Cup qualifying playoff on March 24. If Russia remain suspended at that time, they would be out of the World Cup and unable to progress to the finals in Qatar in November.

The Polish FA had said that they will refuse to play against the Russian team and the Czech Republic and Sweden, who are in the same playoff path, had also ruled out facing Russia.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2022

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