The four best teams of the Russian Football League filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the prohibition to participate in tournaments of the UEFA of the next season due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Zenit Saint Petersburg, Dynamo Moscow, Sochi and CSKA Moscow would qualify for the European tournaments in the men’s branch based on their current positions in the Russian League table. The four teams have requested that the case be dealt with in an accelerated procedure. The draw for the first qualifying day for the Champions League is scheduled for June 14.
“Actions against Russian clubs are based solely on their national affiliation, contradict sporting principles and are inherently discriminatory, to the extent that football is no longer accessible to all,” the Sochi board said in a statement. “We sincerely express our hope that the ruling of the TAS corresponds with the sporting values defined by UEFA in the framework of its activities and with the spirit of competition in football”.
The new case joins the lawsuits filed by Russian teams and federations of various sports.
UEFA banned Russian clubs from participating in its tournaments in a sanction package announced on May 2, which also excluded the Russian women’s team from this year’s European Championship and 2023 World Cup qualifiers. men’s national team was previously excluded by the FIFA of the qualifying round for the Qatar World Cup 2022 after his opponents pledged to boycott the games.
Excluding the four clubs would create a domino effect for teams across Europe in UEFA’s intricate draw system based on national rankings in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa League Conference.
The place of Zenit, champions of the Russian Premier League, in the next group stage of the Champions League will go to Celtic as champions of Scotland, according to UEFA’s updated list of assigned positions.