The Russian Football Union has said that it will take FIFA and UEFA’s decisions to ban Russian national teams from international events over the country’s invasion of Ukraine to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The union stated in a statement that it would submit a single complaint against the two governing organizations, demanding that the Russian men’s and women’s national teams be permitted to compete, including in World Cup qualifying this year in Qatar.

Initially, FIFA announced that Russia would be able to play under the moniker “Football Union or Russia” and without their flag or anthem being present at matches.

However, on Monday, FIFA and UEFA issued a joint statement stating that Russia’s national teams, as well as its clubs, were banned from all tournaments.

The governing bodies issued the following statement: “Following initial decisions by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which called for the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have jointly decided that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, will be barred from competing in FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.

“These judgments were made today by the FIFA Council Bureau and the UEFA Executive Committee, which are the top decision-making bodies of both organizations in such situations.

“Football is completely united here, and we stand in complete sympathy with all those who have been affected in Ukraine. Both presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve dramatically and quickly, allowing football to once again serve as a vehicle for human unity and peace.”
Russia was scheduled to meet Poland in a World Cup qualifier later this month, with the winner facing either Sweden or the Czech Republic for a spot in the finals in Qatar, but all three countries declined to play them.

A number of European football organisations, including England’s, Scotland’s, Wales’, Northern Ireland’s, and the Republic of Ireland’s, have announced that they will not play Russian teams.

Spartak Moscow, Russia’s sole remaining club in European club play, was also eliminated from the competition.

Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine, one of its southwest neighboring countries, on February 24, 2022, escalating a conflict that began in 2014. The invasion was dubbed the largest conventional military strike on Europe since World War II by several officials and commentators.

Following Ukraine’s Dignity Revolution in 2014, Russia invaded Crimea, and Russian-backed separatists seized part of the Donbas in south-eastern Ukraine, sparking an eight-year conflict in the region. A Russian military buildup began in early 2021 near the Russia–Ukraine border. Russia has been accused by the US and others of plotting an invasion of Ukraine, despite Russian authorities’ repeated denials.

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