Russia to lodge CAS appeal over football ban
The Russian Football Union has confirmed it is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following the suspension of its teams by FIFA and UEFA.
Russian clubs and national teams were banned from all FIFA and UEFA competitions "until further notice" on Monday.
This decision followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week, which prompted rivals of its football team to vow they would not play Russia.
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic – opponents and potential opponents in the 2022 World Cup play-offs – threatened to withdraw from qualifying until FIFA and UEFA made the joint-announcement.
But the RFU, which "categorically disagreed with" its suspension and hinted at a challenge "in accordance with international sports law", has formalised an intention to appeal through CAS.
The ban, the RFU claims, "did not have a legal basis".
And Russia still hope to take part in the play-offs for the Qatar finals later this month, wanting a swift appeal process in which the RFU will also pursue compensation.
Russia had been set to host Poland on March 24, and the RFU's statement added it would ask for competitions its teams had been participating in to be delayed if a challenge could not be accelerated.
"The Russian Football Union will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne against the decision taken by FIFA and UEFA to suspend the Russian national teams from participating in international competitions," the statement read on Thursday.
"As part of a single lawsuit against the two organisations, the RFU will demand the restoration of all men's and women's national teams of Russia for all types of football in the tournaments in which they took part (including in the qualifying round of the World Cup in Qatar), as well as compensation for damage, if its presence is established.
"In order to ensure the possibility of participation of Russian teams in the next scheduled matches, the RFU will insist on an accelerated procedure for considering the case.
"If FIFA and UEFA refuse such a procedure, a demand will be put forward for the introduction of interim measures in the form of suspension of FIFA and UEFA decisions, as well as competitions in which Russian teams were supposed to participate.
"The RFU believes that FIFA and UEFA did not have a legal basis when deciding on the suspension of Russian teams. It violated the fundamental rights of the RFU as a member of FIFA and UEFA, including the right to take part in competitions.
"In addition, the decision to withdraw the national team from qualification for the 2022 World Cup was made under pressure from direct rivals in the play-offs, which violated the sporting principle and the rules of fair play.
"The Russian Football Union was also not granted the right to present its position, which violated the fundamental right to defence.
"In addition, when making decisions, FIFA and UEFA did not take into account other possible options for action, except for the complete exclusion of participants from Russia from the competition.
"Other details of the appeal, including the timing of the hearing of the claim, will be reported additionally."