Court delivers verdict on Russia’s appeal over FIFA World Cup games – Reuters

The Russian Football Union had hoped to postpone crucial World Cup qualifier matches which were thrown into doubt shortly after the start of the attack on Ukraine.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected Russia’s request to postpone crucial 2022 World Cup qualifier matches in Qatar on an interim basis after organizers FIFA suspended the national team from competitions and granted scheduled opponents Poland a bye to the final.

Russia were due to host Poland in Moscow on Thursday in a semi-final that would have propelled them to a home game against Sweden or the Czech Republic with a win.

The football associations of Poland and Russia’s two potential opponents have all publicly announced their intention to boycott matches against Valeri Karpin’s side after the attack in Ukraine began. Poland will now host the final on March 29.

The Russian Football Union still hopes to succeed in appealing to CAS over the suspensions and has called FIFA’s decision divisive, discriminatory and detrimental to the sport.

Russia’s hopes of reaching the finals in November and December appear to have faded following the CAS decision.

Former Russian midfielder Karpin extended his contract with the national team on March 10 but described the call-up situation as “hopeless”.

Karpin has returned to manager of former Russian Premier League club Rostov but was on hold if Russia’s appeal was successful.

FIFA urged to reconsider its decision

The 53-year-old was named national team manager in July and was denied an automatic place in the final only by a late Croatia goal in Russia’s final group stage qualifier at Zagreb.

Ukraine was also due to travel to Scotland for a playoff semi-final on Thursday, which was postponed.

The tie winners will travel to Wales or Austria to decide whether they will reach the final.

Russia’s women’s national team are absent from the Euro final in England in July, with Ukraine among the teams that could replace them in a planned UEFA draw for an additional participant.

Spartak Moscow were also knocked out of their Europa League Round of 16 with RB Leipzig.

St Petersburg was due to host the Champions League final in May, which UEFA moved to Paris a day after the conflict in Ukraine began on February 24.

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