EUROPEAN SOCCER

Málaga banned from playing in Europe next season

Arbitration court rejects club’s appeal against Uefa, opening door for Sevilla to contest Europa League

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected an appeal by Málaga CF and ratified a sanction imposed by Uefa’s Financial Control Committee banning the south-coast club from taking part in European competition next season.

The Lausanne-based CAS’s decision means that Sevilla, which finished ninth in the league last season, will provisionally take Málaga’s place in the 2013-14 Europa League. The presence of Unai Emery’s side in the tournament is not yet assured, however, as Rayo Vallecano, which finished eighth, is also appealing Uefa’s decision not to issue it a competition license.

In both cases, non-payment of debts and players’ wages within a Uefa-imposed timeframe led to the sanction. However, Málaga was given hope of a reprieve last month when Uefa issued it a competition license to play in Europe, although it later emerged that the 2013-14 ban was still in place.

“I am sorry above all for the fans and for all the hard work the club has put into this matter. I am saddened and disappointed and now we will weigh up the CAS’s arguments to make sure we do not make the same mistakes that we may have made,” Juan de Dios Crespo, Málaga’s club lawyer, told EL PAÍS.

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