FC Barcelona: UEFA does not want teams related to possible love affairs: precedents point to Barcelona


LUEFA changed the eligibility rule for its competitions in 2007. He did it for several precedents, but for two especially, as was the case of the Anderlecht in 1996 and Milan ten years later. This change may be definitive for Barcelona to be penalized without being able to participate in the next edition of the Champions League. Before June 1, the teams that want to participate in Europe must present the necessary documentation and days later I will know the answer, but the precedents suggest that it will not make the cut. Before, Laporta, Bartomeu, Gaspart and RoselThey will have gone through the court to testify.

Until that modification, the teams, protected by rules, processes and other stories that have more to do with the courts that with sports, they delayed the sanctions or left them without effect. Faced with this situation, UEFA decided that their competitions could not be stained and enabled a system for at least one year to leave the teams in question without being able to participate in their competitions.

UEFA decided to establish an internal commission in 1996 to investigate complaints about the alleged purchase of two matches by Anderlecht. Eighteen months later, in September 1997, the UEFA Executive Committee took the decision to declare the Belgian club Anderlecht ineligible to participate in UEFA competitions in the 1998-99 season.

In its decision, the UEFA Executive Committee concluded that Anderlecht had been involved in two cases of match-fixing that affected the independence of the referee. The first related to the UEFA Cup match between the Anderlecht and Bank Ostrava played on October 19, 1983 and the second with the semifinal of the UEFA Cup between the Anderlecht and Nottingham Forest played on April 25, 1984.

The Belgian club threatened to go to ordinary justice, for which the case ended in the TASwhich admitted the appeal despite the evidence of party purchases, considering that the UEFA Executive should accept the judicial decision.

Ten years later history repeated itself, in this case with Milan after a match-fixing scandal known as calciumpoly. Investigations led by Italian police revealed that a network of club managers, officials responsible for referees and others had tried to influence the outcome of several Serie A matches. Several clubs were sanctioned by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) such as Juve that fell from category. Fiorentina, Reggina and Lazio were the others punished.

Milan had a large number of points deducted. However, managed to qualify for the Champions League 2006-07. UEFA faced a real legal dilemma: could it allow a club that had been sanctioned for its participation in the calciumpoly Would you participate in a UEFA competition the following season?

The sad precedent of Milan

He UEFA Emergency Panelbeing competent to decide on the matter, came to the conclusion that he had no choice but to admit Milan to the 2006–07 UEFA club competitions for formal reasons due to an insufficient legal basis in the regulations that would allow not to admit Milan in certain circumstances, despite the fact that the club had been involved in nationwide match-fixing activities just a few months earlier.

Milan won that competition by beating Liverpool in the final on May 23, 2007. The situation was further aggravated, as the 2006-07 Champions League was won by a club that had been convicted of match-fixing activities just a few months before the start of the competition.

UEFA’s response to the Milan case was swift. At the next UEFA congress, which took place in January 2007, a new paragraph 3 for Article 50 of the UEFA Statutes. That amendment, which is still in effect today, established a two-stage process aimed at ensure the integrity of UEFA competitions. The first stage consists of an administrative measure, by which the offending club is banned from European competitions for one season.

Administrative and disciplinary measure

The second stage consists of disciplinary measures, which can be imposed after the administrative measure and do not have a maximum duration. Therefore, since 2007Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes reads as follows: “Admission to a UEFA competition of a member association or club directly or indirectly involved in any activity intended to organize or influence the outcome of a match nationally or internationally may be denied with immediate effect, without prejudice to possible disciplinary measures”.

Logically, this provision has also been incorporated into the regulations governing the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League. The first derivation of this general clause of the Statutes was integrated into the regulations of the respective competitions through the new paragraph 1.04(d) which, as of the 2007-08 season, reads as follows: “To be eligible to participate in the competition , a club must meet the following criteria:must not be or have been involved in any activity intended to organize or influence the outcome of a match nationally or internationally”. Something that clashes head-on with what Barcelona has done.

How far can UEFA go covered by the CAS

After UEFA modified its statutes, the rest of the Confederations, starting with the Asian, They joined this measure, in what can be considered a universal decision and one of the most important in the world of football in recent years.

The Sports Court (TAS) supported this change, as reflected in different awards issued after the entry into force due to the need to act quickly to guarantee the image and reputation of UEFA. Olympiakos Valou (Greece), Porto, Benfica, Vitoria de Guimaraes or Panathinaikos They are some of the clubs that know what this modification is about.

To what extent are UEFA’s disciplinary bodies competent to deal with domestic/national affairs unlawful conduct and its impact on UEFA and the admissions process. The answer is based on the principle of zero tolerance for match-fixing which, according to the CAS jurisprudence, is one of the most important values ​​and principles in football, something that is clearly reflected in the complaint filed by the prosecutor against Barcelona.

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