Malaga Confident of Europa League Next Season After UEFA Decision

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 22, 2013

MALAGA, SPAIN - APRIL 02:  Head coach Manuel Pellegrini of Malaga CF looks on during a traning session ahead of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match against Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda Stadium on April 2, 2013 in Malaga, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Malaga believe the team will be able to compete in the Europa League next season after UEFA lifted their additional year of suspension from European competition, as Reuters reported.

In December, the La Liga side was banned from UEFA tournaments for one season by the governing body's Club Financial Control Body due to outstanding debts and faced a possible further season out of competition if the club did not settle its owed monies, as reported by CNN.

UEFA had claimed Malaga owed player wages and had debts with other football sides as well as the Spanish tax authorities, which saw the club fall foul of the Financial Fair Play rules.

The Costa del Sol side believed it was "being punished unfairly and used as an example to others" and vowed to fight the suspension, as The Guardian highlighted.

Malaga has taken its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and UEFA waived the additional second year on May 17 when the club proved it had no outstanding debts, according to this BBC Sport report.

The CAS will deliver its verdict on the suspension for next season's UEFA competitions on June 4, but Malaga director general Vicente Casadois is confident the ban will be overturned, as ESPN reported.

This decision ratifies what we had already said when our fulfilment of the regulations was put in doubt. We are working, and will keep working, on this, as we are very optimistic about the future.

Malaga are currently sixth in the La Liga table with two games of the season remaining.

Under manager Manuel Pellegrini, the team were the surprise package of the Champions League this season and were only denied a semifinal clash with Real Madrid by two late Borussia Dortmund goals at the Westfalenstadion.

Pellegrini has been strongly linked with Manchester City before and after the sacking of Roberto Mancini last week, according to The Guardian.

Malaga sold star players such as Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal to Arsenal this season in a bid to help ease the debts at the club and are owned by Qatari businessman and millionaire Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani, who took over the club in 2010.

There have been question marks over his commitment to the club in recent weeks, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais via ESPN.

If the suspension is fully lifted, it may be too late to prevent Pellegrini making his move, but it does allow the club more room to manoeuvre in its search for a replacement.