Metalist Kharkiv Ban from Champions League Acts as Sign for Arsenal

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterAugust 16, 2013

KHARKOV, UKRAINE - OCTOBER 15:  Supporters of FC Metalist Kharkiv during the Ukrainian Premier League match between FC Metalist Kharkiv and FC Chornomorets Odesa held on October 15, 2011 at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkov, Ukraine. (Photo by Genya Savilov/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

UEFA has welcomed the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the suspension of Metalist Kharkiv from European competition, as reported on UEFA.com.

The Ukraine club Metalist Kharkiv had been banned from competition for one season after an inquiry into match-fixing and the rejection of their appeal against the suspension by the UEFA Emergency Panel earlier this week, as Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN reported.

UEFA welcomes the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision rejecting the application for provisional measures made by FC Metalist Kharkiv against the UEFA Appeals Body decision of 13 August 2013.

In rejecting the request of Metalist, the CAS has upheld the decision of the UEFA Appeals Body. It follows that PAOK FC will participate in the UEFA Champions League play-off match against FC Schalke 04, the first leg of which will take place on 21 August 2013 in Germany.

The replacement of Metalist by PAOK was confirmed by the UEFA Emergency Panel earlier this week. The Ukrainian club had previously been found guilty of involvement in match-fixing, in a CAS ruling handed down on 2 August 2013. 

The club immediately took its appeal against the decision to the CAS, but that has now failed; PAOK Salonika will now face Schalke in the playoff round of the Champions League instead.

The Greek club were knocked out of the competition by Kharkiv in the previous round but have been reinstated instead of playing Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the Europa League playoff round next week.

The Israeli team will now progress through to the group stages of the competition, as UEFA confirmed on its official website earlier on Friday.

The match-fixing inquiry related to a game against Karpaty Lviv in April 2008 and the club's sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov was given a five-year ban as a result of the investigation, as the Daily Mail reported.

The decision of the CAS on Friday will be viewed with interest by Arsenal, who could find themselves in a similar position to PAOK.

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The Gunners have been paired with Fenerbahce in the Champions League playoff round, with the first leg taking place in Istanbul on Wednesday before the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on Aug. 27.

However, the Turkish club have a potential two-year UEFA suspension hanging over the club regarding alleged match-fixing claims, as Glenn Moore of The Independent reported.

Fenerbahce have appealed to the CAS over their suspension from European competition by the European governing body, but will not discover their fate until Aug 28, 24 hours after the second leg against Arsene Wenger's team.

UEFA has not decided what will happen to Arsenal if they lose the tie and the Istanbul club are banned, but Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror has warned that the North London side could play another playoff match to determine whether the team enjoys a 16th consecutive season in the lucrative group stages.

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