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Russia Will Appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport Against FIFA, UEFA Ban

The Russian Football Union (RFU) announced that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ban imposed by FIFA and UEFA on its national and club teams

Last week, FIFA and UEFA barred Russia from its international competitions, including the upcoming World Cup qualifying playoff. Initially, FIFA ruled that Russia would have to host home matches at neutral sites and would only be able to compete as 'Football Union of Russia' without their flag present or anthem played. 

“As part of a single lawsuit against two organizations, the RFU will demand to restore of all men's and women's national teams of Russia in 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 to compensate for the damage if its availability is established,” the RFU said in a statement

“In order to ensure the possibility of participation of Russian teams in the next scheduled matches, the RFU will insist on an accelerated order of consideration of the case. ... In addition, the decision to remove the national team from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup was made under pressure from direct rivals in the play-offs, which violated the sports principle and rules of fair play.”

As Russia's opponent in the World Cup qualifying playoff in three weeks, Poland announced its refusal to face Russia along with Russia's other potential opponents in the qualifying playoff bracket: Sweden and Czech Republic

The U.S., Canada, Scotland, England and Ireland each followed suit, but it is currently unclear what would happen if Russia were reinstated given those prior declarations. Ukraine, meanwhile, has asked to postpone its upcoming World Cup qualifying playoff against Scotland. 

On Wednesday, Russia men's national team captain Artem Dzyuba also responded to the ban with his first public comments. 

“War is terrifying," Dzyuba posted on Instagram. ”I am shocked by human aggression and hate, which is moving to a larger scale every day. I am against discrimination based on your nationality. I am not ashamed to be Russian. I am proud to be Russian. I don't understand why athletes have to suffer now.

”I am against double standards. Why are some allowed everything, but we are blamed for everything? Why does everyone always say that sport is apolitical, but with the first opportunity, when it concerns Russia, this principle is absolutely forgotten?”

Spartak Moscow, the only Russian club left in UEFA competitions, was also kicked out of the Europa League. While the RFU said it would request an expedited decision, Spartak was originally slated to play in the round of 16 in just one week on March 10 against RB Leipzig. 

The case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport will be the nation's second in the last month following the controversial decision that allowed Russian Olympic Committee figure skater Kamila Valieva to continue competing at the Beijing Olympics despite testing positive for a banned substance.

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