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Wil retain top-flight berth

FC Wil 1900's Swiss Nationalliga A status has been saved after the club was granted a professional licence.

FC Wil 1900's Swiss Nationalliga A status has been saved after the club won their appeal against the removal of their professional licence.

Financial viability
The Nationalliga ruled last month that Wil had not shown proof of their financial viability for the 2003/04 season. Former president Andreas Hafen had previously admitted that he partly funded the club with up to €7m defrauded from the UBS bank in St. Gallen where he was also president.

Money raised
However, the league's appeals commission have decided to grant Wil, who finished eighth this season, a licence on the condition that they can prove their debts are below €325,000 on 31 December 2003. Acting club president Roger Bigger provided evidence that €195,000 had been raised to fund the team for next season, with UBS also agreeing not to seek to reclaim their money for at least another year.

Sion banished
Second division clubs FC Baden and FC Winterthur were also granted reprieves, but 1997 league champions FC Sion have been relegated to regional football, having been declared bankrupt in September.