June 23 – Russian football’s appeal against the decision to ban their clubs and national teams from international competition because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine is set to be heard in early July by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS has slated July 5 to hear the case followed a week later by a second hearing when it will consider an appeal by four Russian clubs, including national champion Zenit St Petersburg, against exclusion from the next season’s UEFA club competitions.
Urgent verdicts could be requested by the clubs ahead of scheduled games in qualifying rounds of the Champions League and other UEFA competitions. The Russian women’s team was also kicked out of the European Championship that kicks off next month in England.
UEFA and FIFA in imposing their bans said on February 28 that “football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.”
Russian officials tried to freeze the FIFA ban ahead of a World Cup qualifying playoff semi-final against Poland on March 24, but that was rejected by CAS.
Poland had refused to play the game citing the invasion of Ukraine and was awarded a bye. FIFA cited the risk of “irreparable and chaotic” consequences for the World Cup in Qatar if Russia was cleared to play the game – and then advanced to the finals in November.
Even if the Russian football federation wins its appeal at CAS, it seems almost impossible for the country’s men’s and women’s teams to be reinstated in the World Cup and Euros respectively without considerable upheaval.
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