Ukraine crisis Russia to appeal to CAS over ban imposed by FIFA UEFA

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Moscow, March 4

The Russian Football Union (RFU) on Thursday said it will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to appeal against the decisions by FIFA and UEFA to bar Russian teams from international competitions over the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian football clubs and national teams on Monday were suspended from all competitions "until further notice" by FIFA and UEFA.

The union said it would file one lawsuit against football's world and European governing bodies, demanding Russia's men's and women's national teams be allowed to compete.

Russia wants its national teams reinstated to play their men's World Cup play-off matches next month and the women's team once again included in this summer's Euro 2022 competition in England. RFU also said it could ask for the suspension of competitions they were originally scheduled to compete in if unsuccessful, a BBC report said.

"If Fifa and Uefa refuse such a procedure, a requirement will be put forward for the introduction of interim measures in the form of suspension of Fifa and Uefa decisions, as well as competitions in which Russian teams were supposed to participate," Russian football authorities said.

Russian club Spartak Moscow were also kicked out of the Europa League and their last-16 opponents RB Leipzig will advance to the quarter-finals.

A statement from Russian football authorities said it "believes that Fifa and Uefa did not have a legal basis when deciding on the removal of Russian teams".

"The Russian Football Union was also not given the right to present its position, which violated the fundamental right to defence," the statement continued. In addition, when making decisions, Fifa and Uefa did not take into account other possible options for action, except for the complete exclusion of participants from the competition from Russia," it said.

Both FIFA and UEFA intervened after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday.

Russia says it "will insist on an expedited procedure for considering the case" in an effort to "ensure the possibility of the participation of Russian teams in the next scheduled matches".

The Russian men's team had been scheduled to face Poland in a World Cup play-off semi-final on 24 March.

The union, who say they will seek "compensation for damage", said actions taken against them "violated the fundamental rights of the RFU as a member of Fifa and Uefa".

"The decision to withdraw the national team from qualification for the 2022 World Cup was made under pressure from direct rivals in the play-offs, which violated the principle of sports and the rules of fair play," the RFU said.

FIFA had previously ruled that Russia must complete their upcoming games in neutral territory, under the title Football Union of Russia, and without their flag and anthem. However, that announcement had drawn criticism – and several nations, including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden, in refusing to play against Russia.

The 2022 Champions League final, originally due to be played in St Petersburg on 28 May, has also been moved to Paris.


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