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Rediff.com  » Sports » UEFA could refuse AC Milan Champions League spot

UEFA could refuse AC Milan Champions League spot

July 27, 2006 13:28 IST

AC Milan's place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League is not a foregone conclusion and could be blocked by UEFA's emergency panel on Thursday, European football's ruling body said.

The name of Milan, the six-times champions of Europe, was included on a list of clubs submitted by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) following a decision by the appeals court adjudicating in the Serie A match-fixing scandal on Tuesday.

The emergency panel consists of UEFA president Lennart Johansson, first vice-president Senes Erzik of Turkey, treasurer Jeu Sprengers of the Netherlands and one other executive committee member.

They will meet to discuss the entries for this season's competition on Thursday and a UEFA spokesman confirmed to Reuters: "It is not usual for the emergency panel to meet to consider the entries.

"The meeting has been called to look at all the entries and specifically the admission of the Italian clubs."

Milan were found guilty in the Serie A match-fixing probe but became eligible to compete in the third qualifying round of the Champions League after the appeals court reduced their initial punishment on Tuesday.

UEFA's decision is expected on Thursday morning with the draw for the third qualifying round scheduled for Friday morning.

ITALIAN ENTRIES

With last season's champions Juventus stripped of their title and demoted to Serie B and European qualifiers Fiorentina and Lazio deducted points dropping them out of the European qualifying places, Italy's entries to the Champions League and UEFA Cup have been re-assigned.

Inter Milan and AS Roma have been put forward for the group stage, with Milan and Chievo Verona the entries for the third qualifying round stage.

Palermo, Livorno and Parma have been entered for the UEFA Cup.

If Milan were to be denied access to European competition next season, UEFA could allocate their place to another Italian team, or hand it to a club from another country.

A UEFA source said on Wednesday: "The allocation of places is ultimately up to UEFA and does not just depend on league positions alone.

"Since the introduction of the club licensing system, clubs also have to be ethically sound to take part in European competition and clubs who have been found to bring the game into disrepute, or been involved in fraudulent activity will not necessarily play in UEFA competitions.

"When all is said and done, these are UEFA's competitions, they make the rules."

DIFFERENT DILEMMA

Just over a year ago UEFA re-wrote their rulebook when Liverpool won the Champions League, but finished outside the top four places in the English Premier League which earn Champions League places.

UEFA had previously stipulated that a maximum of only four clubs per country could compete in the Champions League -- and made no allowance for the reigning champions to automatically defend their trophy.

Liverpool were allowed to do so, becoming the fifth English entry into last season's competition -- but had to start the campaign in the first qualifying round. The regulations have since been altered with the champions automatically qualified for the following season's competition.

 

Source:
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