Friday 24 March 2017

UEFA may allow Sion back into Europa League

UEFA have invited Sion to a meeting to consider their possible reintegration into the Europa League. UEFA have already held talks with Celtic, who took Sion's place in the group stage, and the other teams in Group I over the effects on fixtures should the Swiss club be reinstated.

Sion were thrown out of the competition in September after being found guilty of fielding ineligible players in their two play-off matches against Celtic.

UEFA have rejected numerous attempts by the club to regain their place via the Swiss civil court, insisting that the Court of Arbitration for Sport is the only authority with jurisdiction over the matter.

European football's governing body released a statement which read: "After having consulted the clubs in Group I, UEFA has now invited FC Sion to express its views on the potential impact of the club's possible reintegration in the UEFA Europa League.

"If the CAS decides in favour of FC Sion... the UEFA Europa League calendar may have to be adapted."

UEFA had already made contingency plans for Sion's readmission. The first option would annul the group fixtures already played between Celtic, Udinese, Atletico Madrid and Rennes and start a new five-team group with teams playing each other once.

The second option would see Sion join Group I as it stands and play each team home and away.

UEFA also raised the possibility of Sion moving directly into the last 32 following an undefined play-off. Udinese lead Group I with seven points, three ahead of Atletico, with Celtic and Rennes both on two.

Irish Independent

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