Russia and Belarus remain excluded

Despite the legal impasse surrounding the Russia verdict and the dismissal of Borussia Düsseldorf as Champions League winners, Russian and Belarusian clubs will remain excluded from the coming season of the European Table Tennis Cup because of their countries’ war of aggression against Ukraine.

The European association ETTU announced the decision of its executive committee for the Champions League and other club competitions under his direction on Saturday.

“We had to make a decision and could no longer wait for the outcome of other proceedings on this issue,” said ETTU Vice President Heike Ahlert (Schleswig) to SID: “We also think our position is correct, regardless of legal subtleties.”

Ahlert, who is also Vice-President of the German Table Tennis Association (DTTB), was referring to a lawsuit by several Russian associations against the exclusion of their players and clubs from international competitions and championships at the International Sports Court (CAS) in Lausanne. In these procedures, the first decisions are expected in August or September at the earliest.

However, for reasons of planning security, the ETTU now positioned itself clearly for its Champions League competitions. The preliminary round draw for the two premier classes is coming up soon.

The ETTU has no further clarity about the rating of the past Champions League season. The association is still awaiting a decision from its Sports Court (BoA) on the executive’s request for a retrial made in mid-May. “We have no explanation as to why no decision has been made,” said Ahlert.

The ETTU judges had previously declared Düsseldorf’s nomination as winner of the premier class null and void due to Timo Boll and Co. reaching the final and at the same time ordered the subsequent re-admission of two Russian semi-finalists. According to this, UMMC Yekaterinburg and Fakel Orenburg, for which the German international Dimitrij Ovtcharov had served, should not have been treated and sanctioned as representatives of Russia after the beginning of the war.

The BoA may be hoping that the pending CAS proceedings will provide groundbreaking decision-making support for the “Causa Russia/Düsseldorf”. In the event of a subsequent admission of the Russian teams for the past competition, it is certain that the ETTU will also declare the season canceled retrospectively and without a winner.

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