Russia loses bid for World Cup qualifiers

Russia’s request to impose FIFA sanctions on its football teams has been rejected ahead of next week’s World Cup qualifiers.

NYON, Switzerland – Russia’s request for a FIFA ban on its football teams ahead of next week’s World Cup qualifiers was rejected on Friday.

FIFA says the Arbitration Court for Sport has rejected an appeal for an urgent interim ruling to suspend the pending ban on a full appeal by the Russian Football Federation, which could come in a few weeks.

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

The latest ruling comes after a similar CAS refusal on Tuesday to impose UEFA sanctions on Russian national and club teams in European football.

Due to the country’s aggression in Ukraine, Russian athletes have been banned from competing in multiple sports. Belarusian athletes have also been banned because their country was an ally of Russia.

The Russian Soccer Federation may still lift the FIFA ban before the next round of the International Games in early June. A Russian win at CAS could then force this month’s play-offs to play again.

Ukraine is also in the World Cup play-offs and FIFA postponed its scheduled game against Scotland on Thursday until June. Ukraine or Scotland will face Wales or Austria – who will play in Cardiff next week – with Qatar at stake in this year’s World Cup.

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