LONDON: Badan bola sepak Eropah, UEFA menolak rayuan dikemukakan Arsenal kelmarin supaya hukuman penggantungan dua perlawanan ke atas pengurus Arsene Wenger yang dilarang berada di bangku simpanan dalam dua perlawanan,
UEFA dalam satu kenyataan berkata, pihaknya menolak rayuan Arsenal berhubung penggantungan dua perlawanan terhadap Wenger ketika pusingan pertama play-off Liga Juara-Juara menentang Udinese, bulan lalu. Wenger kini dilarang berada di bangku simpanan dalam dua perlawanan peringkat Kumpulan Liga Juara-Juara ketika Arsenal menentang Borussia Dortmund dan Olympiakos, 13 dan 28 September ini.
Wenger melanggar peraturan apabila didapati berkomunikasi secara haram dengan berdiri di bangku simpanan Arsenal ketika perlawanan menentang Udinese, selepas terdahulu dikenakan penggantungan satu perlawanan.
Arsenal juga didenda 10,000 euro (RM42,000) kerana salah laku ketika perlawanan bulan lalu, kata UEFA dalam satu kenyataan. – AFP
Shamrock Rovers have been given the green light to play their Europa League group stage matches at their Tallaght Stadium home.
UEFA completed an inspection of the 6,500-capacity stadium - opened in 2009 - on Tuesday, and approval was given today for Shamrock Rovers to open their campaign there again Rubin Kazan on September 15.
"It is wonderful news for us as a club, but also for the Tallaght area,'' said Rovers chairman Jonathan Roche. "We were pushing hard to have the games played at Tallaght, and are delighted that UEFA have given us the go-ahead.''
The stadium hosted Shamrock's Champions League and Europa League qualifiers earlier this season.
Celtic will play in the Europa League in place of FC Sion this season. UEFA has thrown out the Swiss club's appeal against their expulsion ahead of Thursday's opening group game against Atletico Madrid.
Sion beat Celtic 3-1 on aggregate in the play-offs but were expelled for fielding ineligible players after signing six new stars when FIFA stated they were in the midst of a transfer embargo.
UEFA said in a statement on its website: "The UEFA Appeals Body has rejected the appeal lodged by Swiss club FC Sion against the decision to forfeit their two UEFA Europa League play-off games against Celtic FC.
"The UEFA Appeals Body today dealt with the appeal lodged by FC Sion against the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 2 September to forfeit their two UEFA Europa League play-off games played against Celtic FC on 18 and 25 August.
"The Appeals Body heard the parties and decided to reject the appeal lodged by Sion, confirming that the Swiss club had fielded ineligible players in both matches.
"As a consequence, Celtic remain qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stage and will play against Club Atlético de Madrid on Thursday 15 September. An appeal against this decision can be lodged to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within ten days of receipt of the written grounds for the decisions.
"UEFA also received today on this matter a court decision from the Tribunal Cantonal de Vaud and will issue a statement in this respect at a later stage."
A statement on the Celtic website read: ''The UEFA Appeals Body today rejected FC Sion's appeal against their expulsion from the group stages of this season's Europa League.
''Celtic were reinstated to the competition, and will take on Atletico Madrid, Udinese and Rennes. The first match takes place this Thursday, September 15 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid.''
Earlier a Swiss regional court ordered UEFA to re-admit Sion to the Europa League group stages, according to the club.
A statement on Sion's official website read: ''The civil court has this morning ordered UEFA to admit FC Sion as a participant in the 2011-12 Europa League and to take all the measures necessary to include them in Group I of the UEFA Europa League for which FC Sion have qualified.
''The Canton de Vaud Tribune also orders UEFA to consider the players Stefan Glarner, Billy Ketkeophomphone, Mario Mutsch, Pascal Feindouno, Jose Goncalves and Gabri as eligible as FC Sion players and to admit them in the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League. The order has been declared immediately binding.''
Sion could now go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and attempt to delay the start of the Europa League.
Alexandre Zen Ruffinen, Sion's lawyer, was quoted as saying it was "an inexplicable verdict".
He added: "UEFA believe they are above the law and must face the consequences. I can't understand their non-adherence to Swiss law."
Stoke defender Jonathan Woodgate admits he is "disappointed" after being left out of Stoke City's Europa League squad.
Stoke will cover a total of 11,000 miles on their three away trips to Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine, Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv and Turkey's Besiktas and manager Tony Pulis stopped the defender from travelling over fears that his old injuries might reappear.
The former England international, 31, said: "I'm obviously disappointed because you want to play as many games as you can. I understand where the manager's coming from. It's not a problem, you take it on the chin and get on with it."
Woodgate has been plagued by injury problems during a career in which he has played for Real Madrid, Tottenham and Newcastle and had words of thanks for Pulis taking a gamble on him.
"[Tony] said the lads are top-notch and it's a great club with great supporters," said Woodgate. "As soon as I spoke to him I thought, 'He really wants me, he's taking a chance on me. He seems really keen to have me'. When you're wanted, it's a good thing, especially when you've been injured."
Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has admitted he could do without the added burden of the Europa League.
The Blues face what Hughton describes as an "unforgiving" programme of fixtures in the run up to Christmas that may yet have a damaging effect on their bid to return to the Premier League.
However, having qualified for the Europa League group phase, which starts on Thursday night with a clash against Portuguese side Braga at St Andrews, Hughton has every intention of enjoying the occasion.
"Can it be a hindrance? Yes, it can be," he said, "but if you looked at the atmosphere and what the players gave in the home game with Nacional to get us to this stage, I don't think you would have seen it as a hindrance then.
"It's a competition that opens doors for the players, takes them to a different stage, and of course of what it does for the club. Could we do without the extra games? Yes, arguably we could do, but we're here, and once you're in these games they are exciting to play in."
Hughton concedes there is now considerable responsibility on his shoulders as he attempts to strike a balance with a squad not the best equipped for such demands, and for the fans who have been so starved of European football over the years.
"If you look at our fixtures, we effectively play two games a week all the way through to Christmas. Yes, it will be tough. We will certainly have to use the squad we have, but if you ask any of the players what they like doing best, it's playing games.
"But I have to get the balance right because after this we've a tough game away on Sunday against a very good Southampton team. It's unforgiving the amount of games we have to play, but the one thing I am sure of, whatever the game and the 11 on the pitch, they will be doing their best to get a result for us.
"Of course, our main responsibility this season is to finish as high up in this league as we can, and ultimately it's about getting this club back into the Premier League, but then we've also a responsibility to give the fans something to cheer about.
"The fact they will be turning up in their numbers again underlines what they see in this competition and how excited they are to be here."
City could not have asked for a much tougher opening fixture than against the number one seeds for the competition after they ended up as beaten finalists just a few months ago.
"They've great quality, no doubt about it," Hughton said. "They are the favourites because of where they've been in recent seasons, and more so last season, so we are very conscious of that."
Sion could launch a compensation claim worth millions of euros against UEFA after their expulsion from the Europa League was confirmed.
The Swiss club say they will make an initial claim of more than 4 million euros (£3.47 million), but reports in the Swiss press suggest the final demand could be for tens of millions of Swiss francs.
Sion have also threatened to make a criminal complaint against UEFA after claiming a Swiss court backed their fight to be reinstated in the competition. They were expelled from the tournament on September 2 for fielding ineligible players and saw their appeal against the decision rejected by UEFA on Tuesday.
Celtic, who lost 3-1 on aggregate to Sion in the play-offs, were handed their opponents' place in the group stages and have travelled to Spain for their opening match against Atletico Madrid on Thursday night.
A Sion spokesman said: ''We send today a first order to pay to UEFA, and directly to its president Michel Platini, for more than 4 million euros. UEFA believes that it rules the world. The law of the jungle couldn't rule football.''
The spokesman said: ''Yesterday, it was a clear case of misfeasance. Swiss Court won't let the case fall, because they obliged UEFA to reintegrate immediately Sion in the group stage. UEFA now infringes Swiss laws, that means that penal proceedings can be prosecuted.''
Sion have now scrapped plans to travel to Madrid, despite the club's president Christian Constantin previously claiming his side would make the trip regardless of the UEFA ruling.
However, they believe they could still be reinstated at a later date and plan to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The spokesman added: ''We're not flying to Madrid today. No [sic] for the moment.
''The players and coaches are very disappointed. But we still believe we can integrate the group stage later. We now wait for damages for the harm. An appeal to CAS will probably be made this week. We wait for the written judgment and explanations.''
Reflecting on the outcome of the appeal hearing, Constantin told Swiss newspaper Le Matin: ''What UEFA have done is to ignore the law of a state and its institutions. By violating the decision of a judge, those responsible have aggravated their case.
''For these gentlemen, the real trouble is going to start now. It would astonish me too if the justice of this country allows itself to be trampled by an institution subject to Swiss law. We must make up for the financial prejudice without delay.''
FT Shamrock Rovers [0 - 3] Rubin Kazan
3' [0 - 1] O. Martins
20' A. Ryazantsev
35' C. Sives
36' N.H. Valdez (pen.)
50' [0 - 2] C. Noboa
60' [0 - 3] G. Karadeniz
63' C. Navas
64' S. O´Donnell (pen.)
71' V. Dyadyun
83' R. Sharonov
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