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HomeEconomyCAS sets July dates for Russian football ban appeal MPNRC
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CAS sets July dates for Russian football ban appeal MPNRC

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A Russian appeal against a ban on international football due to the country’s war in Ukraine is due to be heard in July at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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The court will hear on 5 July the Russian Football Federation’s appeal against a joint decision by FIFA and UEFA to suspend its national and club teams, days after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The second hearing of the CAS will consider the appeals of four Russian clubs on 11 July, including national champion Zenit St Petersburg, against being pulled out of the next UEFA club competitions.

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UEFA’s executive committee took a separate decision on 2 May among decisions affecting more than 15 European competitions. The Russian women’s team has also been dropped from the European Championships starting next month in England.

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Lawyers and officials involved in the cases confirmed the hearing dates of the CAS which are yet to be formally listed by the court.

Immediate decisions can be requested by clubs before scheduled games in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League and other UEFA competitions.

The high-profile football case could set the tone for similar appeals cases pending at the CAS between Russia and the Olympic Games’ governing bodies.

The IOC has said that the purpose of suspending Russian athletes and teams is not to punish them, but to protect the safety and integrity of events in a time of “anti-Russian” sentiments.

UEFA and FIFA imposed their sanctions on 28 February, saying that “football is in complete solidarity here and in full solidarity with all those affected in Ukraine.”

Russian football authorities tried to circumvent the FIFA ban before the World Cup qualifying playoffs on 24 March, but it was overruled by a CAS judge. Russia’s scheduled rival Poland refused to play the game, citing an invasion of Ukraine.

FIFA’s lawyers supported Poland’s move and later cited the risk of “irreparable and chaotic” consequences for the World Cup in Qatar if Russia were cleared to play and then advanced to the final tournament in November. to be done.

“After considering all these factors, FIFA must act to guarantee the efficient organization and smooth conduct of its competitions,” football’s governing body argued in court in March.

Lawyers for the Russian Football Federation argued that the ban was “a disguised disciplinary sanction”, where the right to a hearing at the FIFA Council was denied.

Poland eventually qualified for the World Cup and on 1 April joined a group with Argentina, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Even if the Russian Football Federation wins its appeal at the CAS, it appears that the men’s and women’s teams may not be reinstated at the World Cup or Women’s Euro 2022.

The victory of Russian clubs in the 11 July appeal should lead to the resumption of the 2022–23 UEFA club competitions, with tens of millions of euros (dollars) in prize money.

Zenit would have had a direct entry into the Champions League group stage starting in September.

League runners-up Sochi will play in the Champions League third qualifying round draw on 18 July. The first leg games are scheduled for August 2-3.

CSKA Moscow and Dynamo Moscow also joined the appeals filed in mid-May before the end of the season. Dynamo, Krasnodar and Spartak Moscow later finished in the European qualifying places.

American lawyer Jeffrey Benz is among the three judges hearing the clubs. At the Beijing Olympics, Benz was part of the CAS panel that cleared Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva to compete, despite the ongoing investigation into the doping case.

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