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Russian Appeal to Lift FIFA Ban Denied

Fifa russia

The appeal of Russia to lift the FIFA ban against their national football teams prior to the World Cup qualifying playoffs due next week was denied by the world football authority on Friday. 

According to FIFA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the request of the Russian Soccer Federation for an urgent short-term decision to hold the ban as they waited for a full appeal, which could arrive in the next few weeks.

Request denied

Following the CAS ruling, what this means is that the World Cup qualifying match between Russia and Poland on Thursday is canceled. 

The current decision also follows the same CAS disapproval to hold the ban of UEFA on the Russian club and national teams to compete in European football on Thursday.

Since the nation’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, Russian players have been banned from participating in any of the international sports competitions. Aside from Russia, the Belarusian club and national team players are also banned from competing because their nation is helping Russia in the war.

According to experts, the soccer federation of Russia could still turn around the FIFA ban before the next round of international matches resume in the first week of June. What this means is that a win from Russia could then force the playoffs from this month to be continued in late June. 

Aside from Russia, Ukraine is also competing in the World Cup playoffs, however, it was decided by FIFA that their game against Scotland would be delayed until June. The winner from the match between Scotland and Ukraine was supposed to compete against the winner of the match between Austria and Wales, which is set in Cardiff next week. The match between the winners of both games will play for a qualifying spot in the Qatar World Cup this year. 

Sanctions against Russia

The sanctions imposed by some European countries against Russia have also affected the participation of the country in major sporting events.

Immediately after the Russian invasion on February 24, both FIFA and UEFA announced to the Football Union of Russia (FUR) that they will only be allowing the Russian national teams to participate in the events using the name of ‘Football Union of Russia’, only if they won’t use any Russian flags, emblems and national anthems in the matches.

However, following the advice of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the increasing pressure from the nations of Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic, the football authorities changed their decision to a full ban.

The aforementioned three European countries have announced a joint appeal to FIFA to move their playoff matches against Russia away from the country. They were adamant to play against the Russian national team which prompted the football body to apply a full ban.

Reaction from Russia

Following the full ban, the FUR have released a statement disagreeing with the decision of FIFA and the UEFA. 

“The FUR deemed that both UEFA and FIFA have no concrete basis on their ban against the Russian national teams to the sporting competitions like the World Cup 2022. They violated the essential rights of the FUR and the Russian national team to be given fair game by participating in the international competitions,” according to the statement of FUR.

“They completely violated our privilege to make a reaction. Additionally, both FIFA and UEFA have made a rushed decision without considering the other possible courses of action, and have fallen under the pressures of the Western bloc nations to exclude the Russian teams from the tournaments completely,” they added.

Final words

Ever since the IOC decided to remove the Russian athletes in the Winter Olympics and their advisory to the sporting federations to do the same, the Russian athletes have been banned in several sports competitions. Clearly, the ongoing crisis has negative domino effects across all the industries.