UEFA responds to a Tribunal Cantonal Vaudois request in the FC Sion case by presenting documents explaining the possibilities for reintegrating FC Sion into the UEFA Europa League.
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Today, Monday 17 October at 12.00, as requested by the Tribunal Cantonal Vaudois, UEFA has presented a number of documents explaining the various possible actions related to FC Sion's reintegration into the UEFA Europa League.
After a detailed analysis of the competition regulations, UEFA's competitions division has provided several possible scenarios for the reintegration of the club into the competition, without replacing Celtic FC who duly qualified after the confirmed decisions of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body and the UEFA Appeals Body.
The first option assumes the cancellation of all previous games in Group I of the UEFA Europa League, and for a set of new games to be played within a group of five, following the rules of the former UEFA Cup group stage with teams playing against each other either at home or away. These matches could then be played between 24 November and 22 December.
The second option allows for the integration of FC Sion into Group I as an additional fifth team, but that the results and points of the games already played in the group remain. Eight additional matches would have to be played, starting at the end of November and finishing in February 2012.
The other options, mainly valid in the case of a late reintegration, assume that FC Sion could be integrated directly into the round of 32, following a qualifying play-off round still to be defined.
All options provided also analyse every consequence from an organisational perspective, such as impact on club rankings, points attributed and distribution of income. According to the calendar all the scenarios are possible, as professional football is normally played in winter, and many leagues – for example in England, Scotland and the Netherlands to name a few – are playing matches in December and/or January without any issues.
Some other measures, like displaying the results of the group as provisional pending judicial decisions, have also been taken and communicated to the Tribunal Cantonal Vaudois.
Of course all these scenarios have one thing in common, and that is a strong impact on the other clubs in the competition. UEFA therefore underlines the fact that the other clubs may accept these possibilities only after a decision made by the Court Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as CAS is the only authority they have all accepted as competent to rule on sporting matters in the UEFA Europa League.
All the scenarios studied by UEFA offer the best possibility of reintegrating FC Sion while preserving the interests of all other clubs, limiting damages to the competition, and offering enough time to ensure a safe organisation of these additional games.
As none of the suggested scenarios proposes a first matchday before 24 November, UEFA believes there is a strong possibility of obtaining a decision based on the merits of the case in CAS, provided that FC Sion accepts the CAS accelerated procedure.
It is clear therefore that should CAS find in favour of FC Sion, based solely on the merits of the case of course, UEFA has carried out its duty by examining all options to allow for the full reintegration of the club into the UEFA Europa League, and with full respect for the rules of the competition.