Metalist disqualified from Champions League

The Ukrainian runners-up had been paired with Schalke during the draw for the pre-group stage play-off, but have now been axed from the competition
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 competitions.

Metalist finished second in the Ukrainian Premier League last term to book their ticket for the third round of the Champions League qualifiers, where they beat PAOK 3-1 on aggregate.

They were paired with Bundesliga representatives Schalke during Friday's draw for the play-off for the group stages, but have now been banned from taking further part in the Champions League meaning Greek side PAOK have been promoted back into the competition from the Europa League.

Mdetalist's elimination and PAOK's subsequent promotion has seen Maccabi Tel-Aviv be granted automatic entry into the Europa League group stage due to not having an opponent in the play-off round any longer.

"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 were paired with Arsenal in the Champions League play-offs pending CAS' final decision, while Besiktas meet Tromso in the Europa League play-offs.