Malaga have European ban lifted by UEFA

Reuters, Wednesday 22 May 2013

Malaga free to play in Europa League next season, ban lifted

Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini (Photo: Reuters)

Malaga will be free to compete in the Europa League next season after UEFA announced on Wednesday that the European ban imposed on the Spanish club had been lifted.

The Costa del Sol club, who reached the quarter-finals of this season's Champions League, had been given a one-year ban by UEFA due to financial irregularities but had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

UEFA's decision came after a meeting of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) in Nyon to discuss sanctions handed out to eight clubs because of overdue payments.

There was no reprieve, however, for Rapid Bucharest of Romania who were fined 100,000 euros ($128,700) and excluded from competing in the next UEFA competition they qualified for in the next three seasons.

Ukraine's Arsenal Kiev were also fined 75,000 euros.

UEFA said that Malaga, Hadjuk Split (Croatia), NK Osijek (Croatia), Dynamo Bucharest (Romania), FK Partizan (Serbia) and FK Vojvodina (Serbia) had all fulfilled the conditions imposed by the CFCB and had their suspended sanctions lifted.

In December, UEFA's financial control body ruled that Qatar-owned Malaga would be excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition they qualified for in the next four seasons because of unpaid bills.

They were also fined 300,000 euros and threatened with a further year ban unless they settled outstanding payments to other teams, staff and tax authorities.

The punishment meted out to Malaga, who are well-placed to qualify for the Europa league with two games remaining, was seen as proof that UEFA remain serious about enforcing its Financial Fair Play rules that are being phased in to curb overspending.

UEFA's rules mean that all clubs will ultimately have to move towards balancing their books or face exclusion from European competition.

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