Ukraine relegated in Nations League after losing forfeit appeal

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(Reuters) - Ukraine have been relegated to the second tier of the Nations League competition, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday dismissed its appeal over a match it was judged to have forfeited in November.

UEFA's Appeals Panel declared a forfeit and awarded Switzerland a 3-0 win in their Nov. 17 Nations League encounter with Ukraine, who had to cancel late on and go into quarantine after positive COVID-19 tests in the squad.

Ukrainian football's governing body UAF appealed the decision. But CAS ruled on Friday that Ukraine were responsible for the match being cancelled and that UEFA's declaration of a forfeit was in line with the protocols it had put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The loss means Ukraine are now relegated to League B of the Nations League after finishing bottom of Group A4.

"The CAS Panel... 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," CAS said.

The panel also said the UAF were victims of the pandemic, and it did not order the UAF to pay any costs for UEFA or the Swiss FA.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)