The Court Of Arbitration For Sport (CAS) Dismisses The Appeal Filed By The Ukrainian Association Of Football And Confirms That The Match Switzerland-ukraine Is Declared Forfeited 3-0
19th March 2021
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) against the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the Swiss Football Association (SFA) and confirmed the decision taken by the UEFA Appeals Body on 25 November 2020 (the Challenged Decision).
Accordingly, the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League match between Switzerland and Ukraine that was due to be played in Lucerne on 17 November 2020 (the Match), but eventually cancelled and not rescheduled, is confirmed to be declared forfeited 3-0 by Ukraine after it was held to be responsible for the game not taking place, in accordance with the special protocol applicable to the league phase of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League that was set out in the UEFA Regulations and Circular letters applicable to UEFA competition matches in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the day of the match, the entire Ukrainian delegation was placed in quarantine by the health authorities of the Canton of Lucerne meaning that the match could not take place as planned.
In its appeal to the CAS, the UAF requested that the Challenged Decision be set aside and that the match in question be either rescheduled or decided by the drawing of lots.
The CAS Panel, composed of Mr Manfred Nan (the Netherlands), President, Mr Jeffrey G. Benz (UK/USA) and Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany), found that the rules set out in the UEFA Circular letters were correctly interpreted and applied by the UEFA Appeals Panel when it concluded that, in the absence of viable rescheduling options being available, the UAF was to be held responsible for the Match not taking place, and as a result, that the Match was to be considered forfeited by the UAF. The CAS Panel emphasized that, rather than being at fault, the UAF was an unfortunate victim of the COVID-19 pandemic and decided not to order it to pay any costs in favour of UEFA and/or SFA.