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Russia banned from competing in FIFA and UEFA competitions: An update

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA released a joint statement on the 28th of February, banning Russia from participating in all UEFA and FIFA competitions:

“Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided that all Russian teams shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice."

Spartak Moscow were expelled from the Europa League accordingly, and Poland were awarded a bye after declaring that they were not willing to play matches against Russia (alongside Russia’s other World Cup Qualifier opponents, Sweden and the Czech Republic). The participation of the men’s and women’s teams at this year’s World Cup in Qatar and European Championship respectively have thus been brought into doubt.

On the 7th of March 2022, the Football Union of Russia (FUR) applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for provisional measures surrounding the ban enforced by FIFA and UEFA that would see the ban suspended, enabling the fixture against Poland to take place.

The FUR made an application for stay pursuant to Article R37 of the Code of Sports-related Arbitration, alluding to ‘irreparable harm’, ‘likelihood of success’ and ‘balance of interests.’ FIFA and UEFA responded by encouraging CAS to deny the Appellant’s application for stay.

Despite the Division President ruling that the appeal was admissible, CAS rejected FUR’s request to suspend the original FIFA Council decision while their appeal was being heard, as noted in a subsequent media release:

‘Lausanne, 18 March 2022 - The President of the Appeals Arbitration Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the request filed by the Football Union of Russia (FUR) to stay, for the duration of the CAS proceedings, the execution of the FIFA Council’s decision to suspend all Russian teams and clubs from participation in its competitions until further notice (the Challenged decision).

Consequently, the ban enforced by FIFA and UEFA remains in force. On the 5th of April, CAS declared that FUR had formally withdrawn its appeal against the ban upheld by FIFA, as well as against the Polish, Swedish and Czech Republic Football Associations.

This month, UEFA provided further clarity on the ongoing suspension of Russian national teams and clubs, further extending the ban to:

UEFA Nations League 2022/23: Russia will not participate and will thus be ranked fourth in this group, relegating them at the end of the group phase and ranking them in last place in League B.
UEFA Women’s EURO 2022: Russia will not participate and will be replaced by Portugal.
European qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Just like Russia were not permitted to play their two Group E matches in April, they will not participate in any subsequent matches in the competition.
European Under-21 Championship 2023: Just as Russia did not play their two Group C matches due to their suspension, they will not participate in any subsequent matches.
UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, UEFA Women’s Champions League and UEFA Youth League: No Russian clubs will participate in any UEFA club competitions in the 2022/23 season. Russia will be assigned a number of coefficient points equivalent to the lowest number they have earned in any of the last five seasons, i.e., 4.333 points for the men’s association club coefficient and 1.750 for the women’s association club coefficient for the purpose of points calculation for the 2022/23 season.
UEFA Women’s Futsal EURO 2022: Russia will not participate and will be replaced by Hungary.
European Qualifications to the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2024: Russia will be replaced in the Main Round group phase by Norway.
2022/23 Youth competitions: Russia will not participate in the 2022/23 Men’s Under-17 and Men’s Under-19 Championships and teams drawn in their group will compete against each other in a mini-tournament with three teams. Russia will also not participate in the Women’s Under-17 and Women’s Under-19 Championships, and one additional three-team mini-tournament will take place in each competition.
2022/23 UEFA Regions’ Cup: Russia will be replaced by the runner-up of the Preliminary Round in Group 1 of the Intermediate Round.
EURO 2028/32 bid: UEFA has declared that the Russian bid to host the UEFA EURO 2028 or the UEFA EURO 2032 is not eligible in accordance with Article 16.02 of the Bid Regulations UEFA Finals and Final Phases which states that “each bidder shall ensure that it does not act in a manner that could bring UEFA, the UEFA final or UEFA final phase, any other bidder (or any employee, officer or representative of any of the foregoing), the bidding procedure or European football into disrepute.”

Following the extension of these sanctions on their club and national teams, the FUR has suggested that further appeals to CAS could be filed this month.

Article written by Luke Sterry, Student at the University of Edinburgh

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