Russia lose appeal to freeze FIFA ban on its football teams

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Russia lose appeal to freeze FIFA ban on its football teams

Vladimir Putin, left, applauds besides FIFA President Gianni Infantino   —  

Russia’s request to freeze a FIFA ban on its football teams was denied on Friday, ahead of next week’s World Cup qualifying playoff game.

FIFA confirmed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the Russian football federation’s bid for an urgent interim ruling to freeze the ban pending a full appeal, which could come within weeks.

The CAS decision means Russia will not be able to play Poland in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

This latest ruling follows a similar CAS refusal on Tuesday to freeze UEFA’s ban on Russian national and club teams in European football.

Russian athletes have been banned from competing in multiple sports because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarusian athletes have also been banned because of their country’s relationship with Russia.

The Russian football federation could still see the FIFA ban overturned before another round of international games in early June. A Russian victory at CAS could then force this month’s playoffs to be replayed.

Ukraine is also competing in the World Cup playoffs, but FIFA postponed Thursday’s game against Scotland until June. Ukraine or Scotland will advance to face either Wales or Austria — who play in Cardiff next week — for a place at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

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