UEFA rejects Portugal protest over Brazil-born Ukrainian

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has dismissed protests by defending champion Portugal and Luxembourg about Ukraine fielding Brazil-born forward Junior Moraes in European Championship qualifying games.

UEFA said Friday its disciplinary panel rejected cases from both national federations who played Ukraine in Euro 2020 qualifiers in March.

Ukraine leads the qualifying group after drawing at Portugal 0-0 and winning at Luxembourg 2-1.

Ukraine risked losing all four points and forfeiting both games as 3-0 losses if the 32-year-old Moraes was judged ineligible.

Advertisement

Moraes was this year granted citizenship of Ukraine, where he has played for most of the past seven seasons, currently for Shakhtar Donetsk.

FIFA rules allow players to acquire a nationality if they live continuously in the country for five years. Moraes spent several months playing on loan in China.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.