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Sports appeals court rejects stay on Russia soccer ban by FIFA

Sports appeals court rejects stay on Russia soccer ban by FIFA
General view of the Krestovsky Stadium prior to the UEFA EURO 2020 group B preliminary round soccer match between Belgium and Russia in St.Petersburg, Russia, on June 12, 2021. The Court of Arbitration of Sport ruled against a Russian stay on FIFA banning its teams from competition on Friday. File Photo by Anton Vaganov/EPA-EFE

March 18 (UPI) -- The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland on Friday rejected Russia's bid to freeze a decision by FIFA to ban all Russian soccer teams and clubs from its competitions, including the World Cup, because of its attack on Ukraine.

Last month, FIFA and UEFA issued the ban after the Russian military stormed across Ukrainian borders in an assault on the country that has gone on for four weeks. Russia appealed the decision, asking for a stay until the appeal division makes a full decision.

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"The president of the Appeals Arbitration Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected the request filed by the Football Union of Russia 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," a statement from the organization said.

CAS said a "challenged decision" remained in force, rejecting all Russian soccer teams and clubs that continue to be suspended from FIFA events.

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"The CAS arbitration proceedings continue," the organization said. "A panel of arbitrators is currently being constituted and the parties are exchanging written submissions. No hearing has been fixed yet."

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The FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee banned Russian teams and clubs from competition on Feb. 28, four days after the start of the war.

"Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine," FIFA said in a statement then. "Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people."

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