Russian official outlines plan to tackle UEFA & FIFA bans

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Russia still has legal avenues it can pursue against bans imposed by FIFA and UEFA

Russia will consider further legal campaigns in a bid to overturn the bans imposed by UEFA and FIFA, although any action may take several months due to processes involving the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, according to Russian Football Union (RFU) official Maxim Mitrofanov.

CAS announced in July that it had rejected an appeal by the RFU to overturn the suspension of all Russian teams by UEFA and FIFA, which was initially imposed following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

Judges at the sports court in Switzerland said it was “unfortunate” that Russian footballers had been affected by a situation beyond their control, but argued that FIFA and UEFA had acted within the scope of the discretion granted to them under their respective statutes and regulations.”

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The RFU immediately decried the verdict and said it could take its appeal a stage further to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.

That was a step which RFU acting general secretary Mitrofanov said on Monday was still likely.

“The complaint itself was rejected by CAS. An appeal can be filed to overturn this, which is actually lodged with the Swiss Supreme Court,” Mitrofanov told Russian media.

“It is submitted when the full text of the decision [from CAS] is ready. CAS has up to three months to make this decision, after which we will have a month to appeal it. At the moment, the text of the decision has not been prepared.

“It must be understood that the Swiss Supreme Court considers claims solely on formal procedural grounds.

“That is, it does not consider the case on its merits and has the right to cancel the CAS decision if the procedural rules are violated, namely: the terms of consideration, the admission or non-admission of evidence, and other things related to the formalities of the trial.

“However, we are waiting for the final text of the CAS so that we can appeal it,” he added.

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Russian football has lodged a separate case with CAS against the decision by FIFA to grant foreign players and coaches the right to unliterally suspend their contracts with Russian teams earlier this summer.

Commenting on the case, Mitrofanov said it was still at a “preliminary” stage.

“At the same time, the appeals from Russian football clubs against the decision on the possibility of suspending the contracts of football players unilaterally are being considered,” said the official.

“For now, there will only be preliminary meetings on this matter. The decision hasn’t been made yet. We aren’t members of the process, so it’s more logical to find out everything from the clubs.”

As a result of the FIFA and UEFA bans, Russian teams have missed or will miss national team tournaments including the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship in England, as well as club showpieces such as the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

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