Sport

Russia loses bid to stop FIFA World Cup ban on its football team

Russia’s appeal to put a FIFA ban on its soccer teams on hold ahead of the World Cup qualifying playoffs next week was denied.

The Russian soccer federation’s request for an immediate interim judgement to keep the ban in place until a thorough appeal was denied by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), according to FIFA.

Russia players


Russia will be unable to play Poland in World Cup qualifying on Thursday as a result of the CAS judgment, and will very probably be unable to compete in the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

They were part of a four-team play-off bracket that included Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic, with the semi-finals and final set to take place later this month.

Poland has been given a bye to the final, where they will meet either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29. Poland was initially scheduled to play Russia in a play-off semi-final.

The decision comes after a similar CAS decision on Tuesday to keep UEFA’s ban on Russian national and club teams from competing in European soccer frozen.

Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, athletes from the country have been barred from competing in a variety of sports. Belarusian athletes have also been barred from competing since their country is a Russian ally.

FIFA was first chastised for its response to Russia’s invasion, adopting a series of ‘interim measures’ that would allow Russia to compete in neutral venues without the use of their national flag or anthem.

Opposition to the restrictions gained traction, and Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic wrote to FIFA at the end of last month, stating that they would refuse to play Russia in the play-offs.

On February 28, FIFA and UEFA jointly declared that all teams and clubs from the country were ineligible to compete in their respective championships.

Russia would be unable to complete their qualification against Poland, therefore putting an end to their chances of competing in the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

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