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The Champions League and Europa League Thread - 2013/14


Devon Malcolm

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Mainly because I think it keeps it separate from all the other footy stuff in the miscellaneous thread but also because they need a thread of their own. Unless a mod says otherwise, in which case :(

 

To that end:-

 

Metalist Kharkiv disqualified from Champions League

 

Ukraine club Metalist Kharkiv have been expelled from the Champions League by Uefa following a match-fixing inquiry.

 

Metalist were due to face German side Schalke next Wednesday in the first leg of the competition's play-off round.

 

Fifa has announced their place will go to Greek club PAOK Thessaloniki, whom they beat in qualifying last week.

 

Metalist were charged by Uefa last week after Cas upheld a five-year ban against sporting director Yevhen Krasnikov for alleged match-fixing.

 

The club still has the option of appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

 

The ban, by the Ukrainian Football Federation, was for alleged involvement in the fixing of a 2008 Ukrainian league match with Karpaty Lwiw.

 

Uefa has disqualified the club from European competitions for the 2013-14 season but if Metalist submit an urgent appeal to Cas, the court can suspend sanctions, allowing the club's debut Champions League campaign to continue.

 

Arsenal's Champions League play-off opponents Fenerbahce were banned from competing in Europe in June for their involvement in domestic match-fixing but have appealed to Cas.

 

Cas says a final decision in that case will be made by 28 August, after the second leg of the play-off, but Uefa says no decision has yet been made regarding what would happen if Fenerbahce won the tie and lost their appeal.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23695964

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I couldn't watch the game because the early kick off meant I was still in work but yep an embarrassing result certainly. We sure haven't made it easy for ourselves but we still have a fairly decent chance of getting through. I'm hoping that the Kazakhs totally brick it when faced with the wall of noise at Celtic Park next week and go to pieces. I can't imagine they've played in front of an away crowd like that too often. I think if we can get a goal in the first half we should be okay.

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I don't think the performance was as bad as everyone's making it out to be. I mean, it wasn't great, but everyone seems to have been treating this game as some sort of bye. This team had accomplished their goal of achieving Europa League qualification and therefore, had nothing to lose from just going out there and playing their style of football as best as they can. Celtic dominated but just couldn't score. It was unlucky, but it wasn't near the likes of Artmedia Bratislava's first leg or Unirea Urziceni or Hibernian's shite performance this year for me.

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Celtic's finishing was more awful than anything else. Forster looked rather uncomfortable out there at times which just isn't like him at all. A goal would've changed the complexion of it and Commons looked lively when he came on, but Shaktar deserve a lot of credit, dug in, grafted and were as disciplined as they possibly could be.

 

I did wonder how they'd get on in the CL this season with the likes of Wanyama and Hooper (cheers) moving on. Still think they'll win it at Celtic Park but it'll be pretty nervy and a jammy away goal for Shaktar would piss things right up for them. If they do qualify for the group, it'll be interesting to see if they bring anyone else in with the extra cash on offer.

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