Football: Forest angered by court ruling

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The Independent Online
NOTTINGHAM FOREST are furious at the news that Anderlecht could be given a place in next season's Uefa Cup.

The Belgian club were originally banned from European competition for a year by Uefa, European football's ruling body, after admitting bribing the referee of their 1984 Uefa Cup semi-final against Forest. But the Court of Sports Arbitration has told Uefa that its executive committee was not competent to rule on the bribery charge.

The tribunal has overturned the ban, although Uefa has yet to indicate whether it will abide by the decision. Forest had campaigned to take Anderlecht's place in next season's Uefa Cup.

Phil Soar, Forest's chief executive, said: "We find it inconceivable that those responsible might be able to avoid any sanction or punishment for acting in a way that undermines the whole ethical and moral base of the game."

Whether Uefa decides to ignore the tribunal ruling or not, Forest intend to continue their legal fight for compensation. Soar added: "Nottingham Forest Football Club and the 14 players who appeared in the game are currently taking legal action in the Belgian courts against the persons responsible for the payments to the referee, Guruceta Muro.

"Nottingham Forest greatly sympathise with the current supporters and players of Anderlecht, who are having to take the blame for the actions of a previous management."

Rangers are playing down fears that a new Uefa ruling banning club owners with a stake in more than one team from entering the same competition could affect their own European campaigns.

The new dictum from Uefa could have serious repercussions for the Ibrox club, who are 25 per cent owned by the British investment trust company, ENIC, which also owns the Greek team, AEK Athens, and has large stakes in the Italian side Vicenza and in Slavia Prague of the Czech Republic.

Rangers' secretary/director, Campbell Ogilvie, said: "I don't know what ENIC's stake is in these other clubs, but they don't control us. I don't believe it [the Uefa ruling] will affect us."

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