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Soccer-UEFA bans Red Star Belgrade from Champions League

Reuters

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June 6 (Reuters) - UEFA has banned Serbia's former European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade from next season's Champions League because of unpaid bills, European soccer's governing body said on Friday.

The ban is a tougher punishment than the one imposed on Manchester City and Paris St Germain after they were sanctioned for running up excessive losses.

Red Star won the Serbian league title last month for the first time since 2007, finishing ahead of city rivals Partizan. They were scheduled to start in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

UEFA ruled that Red Star were in breach of a number of its club licensing and Financial Fair Play rules after looking into a complaint that it was behind on payments.

European champions in 1991, Red Star have 10 days to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

City and PSG were given fines of up to 60 million euros and will face caps on their squad sizes in next season's Champions League.

Spanish club Malaga were banned from the Europa League in 2013-14 after they failed to pay all their creditors. (Writing by Keith Weir, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)

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