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BERNE, Aug 14 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Metalist Kharkiv, due to play Schalke 04 in the Champions League playoff round later this month, have been kicked out of the competition, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Wednesday.
The decision by UEFA’s appeals committee came 10 days after Metalist lost an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over a domestic match-fixing case dating back to 2008.
Metalist, runners-up in last season’s Ukrainian Premier League, have already knocked Greek side PAOK out of the competition and were due to visit Schalke on Aug. 21 with the return on Aug. 27.
UEFA said it’s emergency panel would meet later on Wednesday to “consider the consequences of the decision on the competition.”
Metalist could still appeal to CAS over UEFA’s decision and a ruling in their favour, which may not come until after the group stage has started, could throw the Champions League into confusion.
CAS has already allowed Fenerbahce back into the competition while it considers an appeal from the Turkish club against their two-year ban from European competition over a domestic match-fixing case.
CAS have said they will make a final ruling on Fenerbahce’s case by Aug. 28, the day after the Turks play the second leg of their playoff tie against Arsenal.
Fenerbahce have already eliminated Salzburg from the competition.
Earlier this month, CAS upheld a Ukraine Football Federation (FFU) decision to fine Metalist Kharkiv and FC Karpaty $25,000 each over the manipulation of a match played in April 2008.
The tribunal also confirmed bans of between three and five years on six Metalist players, plus fines of $10,000 each.
Metalist director Yevhen Krasnikov was banned from any soccer-related activity for five years.
Two Karpaty officials were given suspended bans and ordered to pay “compulsory cash contributions” to the FFU while CAS upheld an appeal by a third official from the club.
CAS said in its ruling that the two clubs “were held liable for the behaviour of their football players or officials under the principle of strict liability.” (Reporting By Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)