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2 Nov, 2022 10:28

Russian teams get date for FIFA legal battle

Eight football clubs are contesting a ruling about the transfer of foreign players
Russian teams get date for FIFA legal battle

The legal case launched by eight Russian football clubs against global governing body FIFA over a controversial decision to allow foreign players to suspend their contracts will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) later in November, it has been confirmed.

FIFA announced in June that it was extending a policy which allowed foreign playing and coaching staff at Russian teams to unilaterally suspend their contracts until the summer of 2023 without fear of repercussions, citing the conflict in Ukraine.

Russian football officials branded the decision “discriminatory” and contrary to “the principles of contractual stability.”

Eight teams – Zenit St. Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, Rubin Kazan, Sochi, Krasnodar and Rostov – formally appealed to CAS in Switzerland, and the Lausanne-based organization confirmed on Tuesday that a hearing has been set for November 21.

Russian teams are currently banned from all FIFA and UEFA competitions because of their country’s military campaign in Ukraine.

The Russian Football Union (RFU) lost its appeal with CAS against that decision in July, but has reserved the right to take the matter to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.

The ban meant the Russian men’s national team was deprived of the chance to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while they have also been removed from the qualification stage for the 2024 UEFA European Championship in Germany.

Meanwhile, Russian club teams have been barred from UEFA competitions this season, meaning the likes of national champions Zenit have missed out on the lucrative Champions League.

The FIFA transfer ruling, which was in force until June 30, also covered teams in Ukraine and infuriated clubs such as Shakhtar Donetsk, who saw some of their best foreign talent walk away.

Shakhtar CEO Sergey Palkin announced in July that the club would seek around $50 million from FIFA in damages.