Metalist Kharkiv banned from Champions League for match-fixing

Martin Rose

UEFA have banned Metalist from the Champions League, although the club do have the right to appeal.

Metalist Kharkiv have been expelled from the UEFA Champions League due to a match-fixing inquiry and will be replaced by PAOK Thessaloniki in the playoff round. The ban extends to all European competition, keeping them out of the Europa League as well.

The Ukrainian club was scheduled to play Schalke in the playoff round, but now PAOK, who Metalist beat in the previous round, will play the German club for a spot in the Champions League group stage. Maccabi Tel Aviv, who were scheduled to play PAOK in the Europa League playoff round, have been granted a spot in the group stage of the tournament.

The Football Federation of Ukraine suspended sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov for five years after Metalist allegedly fixed a 2008 Ukrainian League match against Karpaty Lwiw. That investigation and action by the FFU led UEFA to take action action the club.

Metalist have the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which could overturn its ban. The CAS is already set to hear an appeal from Fenerbahce, who were banned from European competition, but are allowed to play until a decision is made on August 28. That decision date is after the club's playoff against Arsenal and UEFA has not yet said what would happen if Fenerbahce win the tie, but lose their appeal.

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