Russian soccer federation appeals against FIFA, UEFA bans

FILE - FIFA President Gianni Infantino, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for cameras at the FIFA congress on the eve of the opener of the 2018 soccer World Cup in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 13, 2018. In a sweeping move to isolate and condemn Russia after invading Ukraine, the International Olympic Committee urged sports bodies on Monday to exclude the country's athletes and officials from international events. The decision opened the way for FIFA, the governing body of soccer, to exclude Russia from a World Cup qualifying playoff match on March 24. Poland has refused to play the scheduled game against Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File) (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

LAUSANNE – The Russian soccer federation appealed Tuesday to have FIFA and UEFA bans on its teams frozen in a fast-track legal process and eventually overturned.

Russian national and club teams were expelled from international competitions on Feb. 28 “until further notice” following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. FIFA and UEFA did not specify their legal reasons.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said it hoped to give urgent interim verdicts on the appeals within days.

Russia’s men’s national team was scheduled to play Poland on March 24 in a World Cup qualifying playoff. Poland has refused to play Russia in the match which was originally to be in Moscow.

The winner of that match would have played the winner of the game between Sweden and the Czech Republic on March 29 with a place at the World Cup in Qatar at stake. Those two federations also have refused to play against the Russians.

CAS said the Russian appeals against FIFA and UEFA also involve the Polish, Swedish and Czech soccer federations, plus several other national federations in Europe.

The soccer federation of Belarus, Russia's political and military ally, is listed as a party on UEFA's side of the case.

The Russian legal strategy of filing separate appeals against soccer’s world and European governing bodies could require the broadly similar cases to be heard by two different panels of three CAS judges.

In appeals at CAS, each party chooses one arbitrator from an approved list and the court appoints a lead judge. The choices can be challenged.


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