Court of Arbitration for Sport upholds UEFA ban on Russian soccer teams

Court of Arbitration for Sport upholds UEFA ban on Russian soccer teams

The ban on Russian soccer teams from European competition was upheld Tuesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The urgent CAS ruling – an interim judgment pending a full appeal hearing likely in the weeks ahead – does not apply to Russia’s chances of being reinstated for World Cup qualifying.

Russian athletes and teams have been banned from dozens of sports since the country invaded Ukraine last month.

The ban by FIFA is part of a similar but separate appeal by the Russian soccer federation which could be decided by CAS this week. Russia had been scheduled to play Poland on March 24 in the World Cup qualifying playoffs.

Tuesday’s CAS verdict gives an indication of how the court might also act on the Russian request to freeze the FIFA ban.

Last week, FIFA awarded a bye to Poland to advance to a playoff final. The Polish soccer federation and players had said they would refuse to play Russia.

The CAS decision was made by the president of the body’s appeals division, Corinne Schmidhauser, acting alone and without publishing the detailed reasons. The full appeal case is expected to be decided by a panel of three judges.

The ban imposed by the UEFA executive committee on Feb. 28 – in a joint statement with FIFA – removed Spartak Moscow from the Europa League.

Spartak’s opponent in the round of 16, German club Leipzig, was given a bye to the quarter-finals.

Russian under-21 and youth national teams for men and women were also scheduled to play European Championship qualifying games in the weeks ahead.

The Russian appeal against UEFA cited future opponents as active parties, including the soccer federations of Belarus, England, France, Portugal and Spain.

The Russian appeal against FIFA also cites the soccer federations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. They are all in the same playoff bracket. The Swedes and Czechs have also refused to play against Russia.