Thursday, February 9

Russia will appeal FIFA and UEFA decision to ban national team from international events 

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The Russian Football Union announced Thursday they will file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport on the decision by FIFA and UEFA to remove the Russian national team from any upcoming international competitions. 

The Russian union claims that global football governing body FIFA and European football governing body UEFA did not have a legal basis when deciding on the removal of Russian teams and that it was not given the right to defend its position. 

“As part of a single lawsuit against two organizations, the RFU will demand the restoration of all men’s and women’s national teams of Russia in all types of football in the tournaments in which they took part (including in the qualifying round of the World Cup in Qatar), as well as compensation for damage, if any will be installed,” the RFU said in a statement.

In the statement, the RFU alleges that FIFA’s decision to withdraw the men’s national team from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers was made under pressure from teams the country would have competed against, which violates the principle of sports and the rules of fair play. 

“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,” the statement said.

More background: On Monday, FIFA and UEFA banned the Russian national football teams along with all professional club teams from international competitions “until further notice” due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The decision to ban Russia from international competitions was made after FIFA and UEFA came under fire for initially imposing a “blanket ban” on the nation, allowing its athletes to compete under the Russian Football Union name, along with other sanctions. 

With the 2022 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for next month, Poland, Czech Republic and Sweden said they would not play against Russia. Shortly after FIFA’s initial sanctions, Poland and the Czech Republic maintained that they would not play Russia under any circumstances. 

Prior to being banned, Russia was scheduled to host Poland in a playoff semifinal on March 24 at the VTB Arena in Moscow. The winner of that match would host either Sweden or Czech Republic on March 29 in the final of their World Cup qualification route.

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