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Swiss sports court approves Russia’s Rostov FC place in Europa League

June 23, 2014, 14:29 UTC+3 GENEVA
Rostov FC qualified for the European tournament for the first time since 2000 after winning this year’s Russian Cup
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Rostov FC qualified for the European tournament for the first time since 2000 after winning this year’s Russian Cup (photo)

Rostov FC qualified for the European tournament for the first time since 2000 after winning this year’s Russian Cup (photo)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

GENEVA, June 23./ITAR-TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne has overturned a decision of the Russian football authorities to strip Russia’s Rostov FC off its license, thus giving the green light for the club’s participation on the Europa League, a lawyer for the club said on Monday.

Rostov FC qualified for the European tournament for the first time since 2000 after winning this year’s Russian Cup. The Russian Football Union (RFU), however, later ruled against licensing the football club for the participation in the Europa League citing financial breaches by the Rostov FC. RFU replaced Rostov in the European tournament with Spartak Moscow FC, which finished the Russian championship in the sixth place.

“It was extremely difficult to achieve the positive outcome,” Mikhail Prokopets said. “Rostov’s chances (of winning the appeal) were initially deemed as small.”

“However, as we continued collecting the necessary documents it turned out that the RFL made a set of mistakes announcing the verdict on the license suspension,” the lawyer said. “The court in Lausanne has agreed, reviewed RFL’s verdict and ruled to grant Rostov the license.”

Leonid Fedun, the president of Spartak Moscow FC, agreed with the decision made by the CAS.

“I can only say that Rostov has earned the right to compete in the Europa League. The club won the Russia Cup, while we (Spartak) finished the championship in the sixth place. Everything is fair. It was an expected (court’s) decision to me,” the president of the nine-time Russian champion Spartak said.

Rostov FC Vice President Alexander Shikunov said all domestic football disagreements should have been settled without going to an international court as now the RFL showed itself at a disadvantage.

“We hoped from the very beginning that the court would rule in our favor, since everything was fine with our documents,” Shikunov said. “Minor interior issues should have been resolved jointly, without going to Lausanne. However, the Russian Football Union decided against it. As a result, the RFL disgraced itself by going against the club end suffered a blow to its reputation.”

Rostov’s lawyer Prokopets said there was left extremely short period of time to prepare the necessary documents to switch back Spartak with Rostov in the Europa League competitions as UEFA was scheduled to hold qualifying round draws on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Moscow time (10:30 GMT).

This is the fourth time in 20 years, when Spartak misses out of the European tournaments. Besides Rostov three more Russian clubs will be vying for the Europa Cup title this year and they are Lokomotiv Moscow FC, Dynamo Moscow FC and Krasnodar Kuban FC.

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