UEFA rejects Portugal protest over Brazil-born Ukrainian

FILE - In this Friday, March 22, 2019 file photo, Ukraine's Junior Moraes sits on the pitch after missing a scoring chance during the Euro 2020 group B qualifying soccer match between Portugal and Ukraine at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. UEFA has dismissed protests by defending champion Portugal and Luxembourg about Ukraine fielding Brazil-born forward Junior Moraes in European Championship qualifying games. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)

UEFA has dismissed protests by defending champion Portugal and Luxembourg about Ukraine fielding Brazil-born forward Junior Moraes in European Championship qualifying games

NYON, Switzerland — 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.

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.

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