© AP, Aug 14, 2013

UEFA disqualify Metalist Kharkiv

NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA disqualified Metalist Kharkiv from the Champions League on Wednesday for links to match-fixing and could now reinstate PAOK Thessaloniki.

Metalist was scheduled to play Schalke next Wednesday in the first leg of the playoff round, after eliminating PAOK in the third qualifying round last week.

UEFA must now decide whether to reprieve PAOK, which is scheduled to play in the Europa League playoffs next week.

The UEFA Emergency Panel, composed of five members of the UEFA Executive Committee, was meeting later Wednesday ''to consider the consequences of the decision on the competition,'' European football's governing body said in a statement.

However, Metalist will likely challenge UEFA with an urgent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Ukrainian club could also ask CAS to freeze sanctions while the case is processed, allowing its debut Champions League campaign to continue.

Metalist was scheduled to host Schalke in the return match on Aug. 27, with the winner advancing to the group stage draw in Monaco two days later.

UEFA charged Metalist last week after CAS upheld sports director Yevhen Krasnikov's five-year ban imposed by the Ukrainian Football Federation. Krasnikov allegedly helped fix a 2008 Ukrainian league match against Karpaty Lviv.

UEFA's Champions League rules require clubs not to have been involved in fixing matches since April 2007, when its legal statutes were updated.

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