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Football club to contest UEFA ban after match-fixing claims upheld

15th August 2013 7:36 am GMT

Ukrainian football club Metalist Kharkiv has announced its intention to appeal a decision by European football body UEFA to ban the club from competing in this year’s UEFA Champions League following a match-fixing inquiry.

The inquiry was launched after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld a five-year ban on the club’s sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov, imposed by the Ukrainian Football Federation after he was involved in fixing a match against FC Karpaty Lviv in 2008.

An investigation by the UEFA Appeals Body ruled that Metalist Kharkiv had breached articles 2.04g, 2.05 and 2.10 of the Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2013/14, relating to the admission criteria for clubs.

As a result the club has been withdrawn from next week’s Champions League play-off against German side Schalke 04 with UEFA’s Emergency Panel selecting Greek team PAOK FC to replace them. PAOK had been eliminated by Metalist in the third qualifying round.

However, Metalist vice president Kostyantyn Pyvovarov has announced the club’s intention to launch an appeal to the CAS, revealing that it has already lodged a request with the Supreme Court of Switzerland to have the initial decision suspended while the appeal is heard.

Pyvovarov said the club was unwilling to accept the punishment, pointing out that the original offence occurred when Metalist was under different owner ship.

“At the same time, Metalist has won the right to participate in the Champions League 2013-14 in a fair fight. Our team, our fans deserve to take part in the main football competition in Europe,” Pyvovarov explained. “I want to assure fans that we will fight for the rights of the club and protect them in accordance with all legal requirements. “

Metalist becomes the second club to be banned from the 2013-14 Champions League after Turkish side Fenerbahçe SK was hit with a two-year ban following allegations of match-fixing in its domestic league.

The club has appealed the ban and will be allowed to compete in the qualifying rounds of the competition until the appeal is concluded.  The club is scheduled to play Premiership team Arsenal in the third qualifying round.

In related news Stoke City footballer Cameron Jerome has been hit with a £50,000 fine after the player admitted breaching the English Football Association’s betting rules.

Jerome, who has played for the Premier League club since 2011, admitted the charges earlier this month, and requested a personal hearing with the governing body, which took place yesterday. Alongside the fine he was strongly warned over his future conduct, but was not suspended from playing for the club.

The charges brought against Jerome did not to relate to match-fixing or betting on any Stoke City matches he was involved with.

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