CAS dismisses appeals by Russian FA and clubs against FIFA and UEFA bans

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CAS dismisses appeals by Russian FA and clubs against FIFA and UEFA bans

UEFA and FIFA banned Russian teams from entering their tournaments in February
UEFA and FIFA banned Russian teams from entering their tournaments in February Reuters
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday dismissed appeals filed by the Russian soccer federation and four Russian clubs against FIFA and UEFA's decision to ban them from all competition until further notice following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Global soccer's governing body FIFA and European soccer's governing body UEFA decided in February that all Russian teams, whether national or club sides, would be suspended from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions after the invasion, which Moscow calls a "special military operation".

In March, CAS rejected a request from the Russian soccer federation (FUR) to freeze FIFA's suspension, effectively ending its hopes of competing at the World Cup in Qatar.

Later in May, Russian Premier League clubs Zenit St Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, FC Sochi and CSKA Moscow filed an appeal against UEFA.

"In all of these cases, the Panel determined that the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the public and government responses worldwide, created unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances to which FIFA and UEFA had to respond," CAS said in a statement.

"In determining that Russian teams and clubs should not participate in competitions under their aegis while such circumstances persisted, the Panel held that both parties acted within the scope of the discretion granted to them under their respective statutes and regulations."

After FIFA and UEFA's decision, several national soccer associations also announced that they would not play against Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, including those of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

Other sports have followed suit. Rugby's governing body, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has banned Russia from qualifying for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Wimbledon took the decision to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from their tournaments whilst this weekend's World Athletics Championships will feature no Russian or Belarussian athletes, with World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, calling it "inconceivable" to have them in Eugene, Oregon.

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