European football governing body, Uefa, have announced that Ukrainian club Metalist Kharkiv are disqualified from European competitions for the 2013/14 season, following a match-fixing investigation.
Metalist were charged by Uefa last week after the Court of Arbitration for Sports (Cas) upheld sports director Yevhen Krasnikov’s five-year ban imposed by the Ukrainian Football Federation. Krasnikov allegedly helped fix a 2008 Ukrainian League match against Karpaty Lviv.
They were due to host German side Schalke in the first-leg of the Champions League play-off round next Wednesday with the return leg slated for August 27.
Uefa has henceforth decided to reinstate Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki, which Metalist eliminated in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, for the first leg of the play-off round.
Metalist have said they will challenge Uefa with an urgent appeal to the Cas.
“We regret that such a sanction was applied, and we do not agree with it, that’s why today we plan to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne,” Metalist first vice president Kostyantyn Pyvovarov said in a statement.
“Also, we have appealed to the Supreme Court of Switzerland with the application for suspension of CAS decision.
“I want to remind you that the match, which allegedly took place, was held back in 2008, with the old owners of the club. At the same time, Metalist has won the right to participate in the Champions League 2013/14 in a fair fight,” he added.