Russia’s request to freeze a FIFA ban on its soccer teams ahead of next week’s World Cup qualifying playoffs has been dismissed.
FIFA said the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed the Russian soccer federation’s bid for an urgent interim ruling to freeze the ban pending a full appeal.
The CAS decision means Russia will not be able to play Poland in World Cup qualifying on Thursday and almost certainly means Russia cannot feature at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
They had been in a four-team play-off path also featuring Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic with the semi-finals and final being played later this month.
Poland, who had originally been due to play Russia in a play-off semi-final, have been granted a bye to the final where they will face either Sweden or the Czech Republic on March 29.
The ruling follows a similar CAS refusal on Tuesday to freeze UEFA’s ban on Russian national and club teams in European soccer.
Russian athletes have been banned from competing in multiple sports because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Belarusian athletes have also been banned because their country has been an ally of Russia.
FIFA was initially pilloried for its response to Russia’s invasion, announcing a set of ‘interim measures’ that would allow Russia to continue competing, but at neutral venues and without their nation’s flag or anthem.
However, opposition to the measures gathered significant momentum, and Poland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic sent a joint letter to FIFA at the end of last month saying they would refuse to face Russia in the play-offs.
Just one day later, FIFA and UEFA ruled jointly on February 28 that all teams and clubs from the country could not take part in their competitions.
The move meant Russia would not be allowed to fulfil their qualifier against Poland and effectively ended their chance of participating in the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
‘It would be massive if Liverpool Win Champions League’ – Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp has revealed his thoughts towards the possibility of the club winning the Champions League.
The Reds lifted their second trophy of the season last Saturday after beating Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup final.
Klopp’s men play Real Madrid next week in the Champions League final and on Tuesday, May 17, they can close the gap between themselves and Manchester City to one point with just one game left in the English premier league.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Southampton on Tuesday, Klopp said:
“If we play a season like we play and we win the Carabao and fight for the title until the end, I think it’s a good season,” Klopp told TribalFootball
“The FA Cup is a massive competition. It felt great. It takes pressure off and that’s what makes it more enjoyable.
“It would be massive if we win in a few weeks’ time in the Champions League. But we play the most experienced Champions League team on this planet.
“We aren’t massive favourites. It’s an open game and every little advantage we can get is good. They have already won the league already. Between now and then, two massive games.”
Johnny Depp hit me on our honeymoon
In continuation of the $50m defamation lawsuit, Actress, Amber Heard has claimed she feared her ex-husband Johnny Depp would accidentally kill her during an alleged assault during their honeymoon.
Testifying in the defamation case Depp brought against her, Ms Heard, 36, painted a picture Depp as an abuser addicted to drugs and plagued with jealousy and self-harm.
Depp is suing Ms Heard for $50m (£40m) over an article in which she claimed she was the victim of domestic violence .
The piece did not name Depp but his attorneys, however, have said that the article “incalculably” damaged his reputation and career. She has countersued him for $100m.
The case being tried in Virginia has resumed for a fifth week, and in previous court hearings Depp had told his side of the story while Heard had begun some of her testimony.
In court on Monday, May 16, Heard tearfully told jurors that she believed she’d likely “not survive” if she had remained married to Mr Depp, 58.
“I was so scared that it was going to end really badly for me,” she said. “I really didn’t want to leave him. I loved him so much.”
She alleged that he attacked her while aboard the Orient Express train in Asia after their February 2015 wedding, claiming that he struck her and held her by the neck while in their sleeper compartment.
“He was squeezing my neck against the railway car for what felt like a very long time,” she said.
She said she recalled thinking he could “kill me”.
“I remember being scared that he wouldn’t mean to do it,” she said.
In another instance, Ms Heard described a “week of hell” after Depp allegedly became jealous because she was offered a role with James Franco. She claimed he punched her and threw her into furniture.
While Ms Heard said that the marriage was “at times, very loving”, it deteriorated over time to a point in which tension and violence became “almost normal”. They divorced in 2017, after two years.
She also claimed that Depp would frequently self-harm during their arguments.
“In fights he often would cut his arms or hold his knife to his chest or draw blood, superficially at first,” she said. “He also put cigarettes out on himself.”
Attorney Camille Vasquez, Depp’s lawyer questioned the witness over her prior testimony, questioning why there were so few photos and medical records to back up claims of physical injuries from her alleged beatings.
Heard countered that she didn’t take photos or videos of the beating because she was embarrassed to be a victim of abuse and “other than my therapist”, she relied on makeup to cover bruises and ice to reduce swelling.
In a heated back-and forth, Ms Vasquez forced Ms Heard to acknowledge that she had “pledged” to donate the entirety of her $7m divorce settlement with Depp to charity but was yet to make any donation.
She also noted that her client had not once looked Ms Heard in the eye over the course of the trial. “He can’t,” Ms Heard responded.
In his own testimony earlier in the trial, Mr Depp said that he never struck Ms Heard and told jurors that she had a “need” for conflict and violence.
On Monday, jurors heard a number of audio clips of the former couple arguing. In one clip which Heard can be heard saying she hit Mr Depp.
“I was hitting you. I was not punching you,” she can be heard saying. “You’re not punched.”
According to Ms Heard, she sometimes “reactively” hit Mr Depp and claimed that she was referring to the “disparity” of their strength.
Many feared dead as explosion rocks Kano
Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
At least three residents of Kano were killed while many are currently trapped in an explosion which rocked Sabongari area of the state.
Details of the incident are still sketchy, but it was gathered that an explosive device went off in the early hours of the day.
It is being reported that a suicide bomber struck in the area.
Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) are currently at the scene.