UEFA has announced that Metalist Kharkiv will not be permitted to take part in European competition this season after proceedings were opened against the club regarding the admission criteria for participation in UEFA competitions.
Metalist finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League last term to book its ticket for the third round of the Champions League qualifiers, where it beat PAOK 3-1 on aggregate.
The club was paired with Bundesliga representatives Schalke during Friday's draw for the playoff for the group stages, but now has been banned from taking further part in the Champions League. It's unknown as of yet whether Schalke will be handed a bye for the group stages or if PAOK will be reinstated to the competition.
"Following the disciplinary proceedings opened against Metalist Kharkiv under Articles 2.04g, 2.05 and 2.10 of the Regulations of the Champions League 2013-14, regarding the admission criteria for participation in UEFA competitions, the Uefa Appeals Body today announced its decision related to the Ukrainian club," an official Uefa statement reads.
"The UEFA Appeals Body carefully analysed the statements and documents submitted by the club, as well as the statements and documents submitted by the Uefa Disciplinary Inspector and reached the following decision: Metalist Kharkiv are disqualified from the 2013-14 UEFA competitions.
"The club has the opportunity to appeal the decision of the UEFA Appeals Body to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
"In the meantime, the Uefa Emergency Panel – which is composed of five members of the UEFA Executive Committee – will hold a meeting later today to consider the consequences of the decision on the competition."
Article 2.04g of Regulations of the Champions League 2013-14 reads as follows:
"A club must not have been directly and/or indirectly involved - since the entry into force of Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. 27 April 2007 - in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level and must confirm this to the Uefa administration in writing."
UEFA previously banned Turkish giants Fenerbahce and Besiktas from participating in UEFA club competitions in 2013-14, with both clubs opting to appeal to CAS.
Fenerbahce was paired with Arsenal in the Champions League playoff pending CAS' final decision, while Besiktas meets Tromso in the Europa League playoffs.
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