Lausanne-Sports, FC Lugano and FC Sion have been refused licences to play in the next season's Nationalliga A championship.
All three clubs will now have to tackle their financial problems while playing in the less lucrative national B league, when the new season starts on 6 July, after failing to win support from the league's appeal commission. They will be replaced by FC Aarau, SR Delémont and FC Luzern.
The Swiss Football Association said the decision was final, and if any of the promoted teams refuse the promotion, the place would then go to FC Winterthours or FC Yverdons-Sports, provided they fulfill the required conditions.
"There were no surprises in the decision we have taken," said Eugen Maetzler, the president of the Swiss Football Association (SFV) licensing commission. "Lausanne and Sion have expected such a decision."
Lugano would appear to have the greatest difficulties of all the relegated clubs. Following the death of their former president Helios Jermini, the Ticinese team are reported to have discovered debts of €12.2m. The club have enjoyed better fortune on the pitch, and have earned a place in the UEFA Cup for next season.
Along with Aarau, Delémont and Luzern, the 2002/03 season in Switzerland will see the following teams playing in the top flight: FC Basel, Grasshopper-Club, Servette FC, FC St. Gallen, FC Zürich, BSC Young Boys, Neuchatel Xamax FC, FC Wil and FC Thun.
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